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  • From Across the Pond – A Testimony

    Grace Church Exeter

    Hello from England!

    We came across FLOW via a PhD candidate (@jakebelder) who helped some research for our recent I LOVE MY CITY series in Genesis 1-4 focussed on helping us “to express the goodness of God across our city.”

    We’re a 12 year old ‘Newfrontiers’ church in a city of about 100000 people in the South West of England. We’re effectively replanting over the last couple of years with this vision “We’re learning to explore, experience and express the goodness of God across our city”. We’re about 230 adults (average age under 30) plus 60 kids (50 of them under 5 years old).

    Three groups have run FLOW so far.

    I think a lot of the impact is in the conceptual stage rather than significant ‘life’ changes yet but I expect to see that in time.

    The first group of 22 were mostly students at our local University (a top 10 UK University). We ran it over an intensive 24 hours away (which was a bit much to fit in!), with a 90min skype call to Evan the following Sunday evening. People said it changed their view of the world, sparked their imagination, motivated them for their study.

    The second group were our group of 6 teenagers in their Sunday group – they’re about 3 sessions in and enjoying the experience. They’re between 13-16 years old.

    A few individuals and couples have used it. One couple said it was mindblowing, another felt freshly motivated for the things he’s already doing in our city.

    The third group (of about 12) were a Community Group doing FLOW over seven Tuesday evenings. The group leader said it had changed his view of the world and his work. He enthused to the rest of our Community Groups recently about it telling them that ‘he hadn’t seen the conclusion coming but it was so exciting to see church that way’. We’re anticipating a number of other groups doing FLOW soon.

    We’ll be using it to fuel a new Learning & Education Forum starting in June for school teachers. We’ve added books like Wisdom & Wonder to our church Library, pointing our creatives towards Makoto Fujimura… we were already using Qideas and learning from Jon Tyson.

    For me it’s put into words and pictures a vision for life that I already had and helped me to spread that to others, and it’s got me into Makoto and Schmemann and others who have enriched me as I look to spend time with my family and friends, to keep learning, to cultivate wonder and be good for my city.Around 40 of our church who’ve done FLOW between March-May. We love it! I’ll keep recommending it widely through my network of contacts in the UK. My friend Matt Fell (@bashtagfell) is running it with student in Canterbury at the moment I think.

    Yours,
    Dave

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    • bhwelliver

      Interested to know more about how your 13-16 year old group received the materials. I hadn’t thought about suggesting FLOW to either Jr. or Sr. High’s yet, thanks for the prompt.

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