URC jpegOn Sunday 25 May, the 2014 Transformation Thurrock Tour appeared at Grays United Reformed Church in Bradleigh Avenue.

The first of two visits (the next is on Sunday 8 June), the talk tackled the theme of Unity, appropriate for a fellowship with the word ‘united’ in its name.

Once again, this was an adaptation of the presentation that has been shown in churches around the borough. It majored on the vision statement of Transformation Thurrock and its central emphasis on unity: ‘Facilitating and Resourcing United Prayer and United Mission’.

Why is unity so important? Because it is a prophetic imperative and a spiritual principle that recurs time and time again in the scriptures.

Psalm 133
How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! … For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life for evermore.
– the power of unity and so of blessing
– church unity is evidenced by blessing in the community
– no evidence of blessing is indicative of no unity…

God’s promise to Thurrock
Isaiah 41:17-20
The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the Lord will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set junipers in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together, so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.
– the sign of an oasis (a place of refreshment and sustenance) where there are seven different kinds of tree (not palms as you would expect) is miraculous
– only God can have made this: it’s proof of his existence
– likewise, our individual/church/denominational unity is a sign to a thirsty world of a refreshing and sustaining God
– is unity in Grays URC, Grays Thurrock & Thurrock such that the world is convinced of God’s existence?
– the unity principle is spiritual, touching the community and healing the land

John 17:23
… that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
– Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane: it’s the same principle
– the church must repent of it’s failure to do this
– the evidence lies in the fact that the world has not seen that the church body are the disciples of Jesus
– the church is perceived as being still too competitive, divided and argumentative!
– unity in Christ is divine: there can be no division in Christ, except from those outside of Christ

John 13:34-35
‘A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.’
– why was this a new command?
– all the other rabbis and their disciples were in competition, divided opinion and arguing over the finer points of the law
– Jesus commanded love, and therefore unity
– again, where the spiritual principle of unity is adhered to, it can only bring blessing to the community as it sees Jesus in us

The people gathered at the URC were then encouraged to bless one another as an outward sign of unity and love.
– an opportunity to show the love Christ commands to one another
– blessing is something all believers of all denominations understand and can do
– bless the person, their home, their job, their activities
– pray that Grays URC will be recognised by world as being full of Jesus’ disciples

The service concluded with the saying together of prayers of blessing from the Keep On Praying and Blessing book.

The TT Tour’s next stop is at Grays United Reformed Church Sunday 8 June.

Where has the TT Tour gone and where is it going?

The 2014 TT Tour is growing all the time, and looks like this:

  • 16 February – Fresh Hope Community (St Margarets’ Fresh Expression), Stanford le Hope – DONE!
  • 2 March – Grays Methodist Church – DONE!
  • 16 March – St Cedd’s, Stifford Clays  DONE!
  • 23 March – St Mary’s, North Stifford – DONE!
  • 30 March – Seabrooke-All Saints Mission Shaped Community (Thurrock Christian Fellowship), All Saints Centre, Grays – DONE!
  • 6 April – Grays Baptist Church – DONE!
  • 13 April – New Covenant Church, Grays – DONE!
  • 4 May – St Margaret’s, Stanford le Hope – DONE!
  • 18 May – St Mary the Virgin, Little Thurrock – DONE!
  • 18 May – Stanford le Hope Salvation Army – East Thurrock United Service – DONE!
  • 25 May – Grays United Reformed Church (part 1) – DONE!
  • 8 June – Grays United Reformed Church (part 2)
  • 15 June – RCCG House of the Lord, South Ockendon
  • 22 June – Socketts Heath Baptist Church NEW!
  • 29 June – Destiny Chapel, South Ockendon
  • 13 July – Tilbury Pride Mission Shaped Community (Thurrock Christian Fellowship)
  • 9/10 August – RCCG House of Praise, Grays – details tbc NEW!

All dates in between these (apart from Easter Sunday, 20 April) and after up to and including 20 July are currently available.

The content is suitable for any fellowship Sunday service or prayer meeting no matter what your style or where you’re ‘at’.

If you’d like to book Tim and the TT Tour, please call 07929 878 089 or email him on tim@transformationthurrock.com.

The presentation – which is adaptable – is made up of three sections and lasts about 45 minutes. It follows this simple structure:

  • Logo for printInformation – Powerpoint presentation
    • where we’ve been
    • where we’re at
    • where we’re going
  • Interaction – small groups
    • what is God saying?
    • what are you going to do about it?
    • who are you going to tell?
  • Intercession – for Thurrock and the UK
    • proclamations of blessing
    • prayers of protection