On Thursday 5 March 2015, people in leadership in fellowships across the borough met for the first time in the newly formed TLP at Aveley Christian Centre (ACC).
Host for the Thurrock Leaders’ Prayer morning was Lydia Field, who pastors the long established Assemblies of God church with her husband Alan. 11 people attended, including two from St Catherine’s, East Tilbury, and one from Gateway People’s Centre, Stanford-le-Hope (a first!).
Over the years ACC has been the venue for 24-7 Prayer from 2003 onwards; The Turn Of The Tide Thames Estuary-to-Source 24-28 Prayer in October 2005; a Global Day of Prayer event in about 2009 when a stake was driven into the ground; and Rock Thurrock training and prayer in 2011, along with lots of other cross-denominational activities.
ACC is also part of the Medway Fellowship, a group of churches from across the spectrum of Christian expression in Purfleet, South Ockendon and Aveley.
Lydia is looking forward to hosting again in a few week’s time when it will be the TLP Breakfast. Far from simply being a ‘jolly’, this provides an opportunity for relationship-building not just on the colleague level, but on the friendship level. After all, Jesus called his disciples his friends…
This is another important marker in the process begun in early January following a directive we believed to be of God that came out of the Join The Dots event in November 2014 with Jonathan Oloyede. It was agreed then that it was time to change Grays Leaders’ Prayer to Thurrock Leaders’ Prayer. There is a sense of vindication that this simple act of obedience has been the right choice, and that the Lord is preparing a new wineskin in which to pour the new wine of a new day for our borough.
Bob Love referred to this scripture as he prayed about the the future the group:
‘Enlarge the place of your tent,
stretch your tent curtains wide,
do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
strengthen your stakes…’
(Isaiah 54:2 NIV)
“Clear lots of ground for your tents!
Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big!
Use plenty of rope,
drive the tent pegs deep.
You’re going to need lots of elbow room
for your growing family…”
(Isaiah 54:2 The Message)
Other scriptures mentioned were:
“This is God’s Message, the God who made earth, made it livable and lasting, known everywhere as God: ‘Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.'”
(Jeremiah 33:2-3 The Message)
“This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children.”
(Romans 8:15-16 The Message)
This is where the TLP is going over the next couple of months. If you’re reading this and want to host on one of the two remaining vacant dates, please get in touch with the TLP Diary Keeper Sharon Bartels on firstname.lastname@example.org.