Gerard and Chrissie Kelly are co-founders of the Bless Network, a movement of young leaders committed to God's mission on mainland Europe. They live in Normandy, France, where Bless has a missional community and prayer base.
PRAy for Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Europe.. an evening of creative prayer and worship AT The Tabernacle of the Nations, Oudezijds Voorburgwal 65 1012 EK Amsterdam ON Saturday June 8th FROM 19h30 to 22h00 WITH Gerard and Chrissie Kelly.. Do join us!
Speaking at the State of Europe Forum in Dublin, May 9th 2013. See more at http://www.schumancentre.eu/
The aptly named ‘State of Europe’ forum considered the role of the church in Europe’s unfolding crisis. We explored the macro, where competing economic theories promise our deliverance but threaten our demise, and the micro, where individuals and families live with the painful fallout from yesterday’s ‘flavour of the month’ economies. A thread running through the event was Thomas Cahill’s claim that the Irish ‘saved civilisation’ 17 Centuries ago through their book-making skills and love of learning. The picture is of a creative minority, living on the fringes of the empire and yet preserving its soul through faith and literacy. Can the people of God be such a minority again today? If it is to be so we will need to see a new creative generation of both ‘church builders’ and ‘culture shapers’: missionaries called on the one hand to build-up the Christian movement, and on the other to carry its voice into every nook and cranny of our culture.
The connection between these two aspects of God’s mission was self-evident in the input brought to the gathering by a number of Christian leaders from Greece, where the Forum will be held in 2014. It was hugely moving to hear from them the very real impact of the Euro crisis on the people of Greece, and the response churches are making. This is where the rubber hits the road. Economic and political theories are all well and good, and a genuinely wise Christian response is much needed: but unless the church can also be the hands and feet of Jesus, going to those most in need and showing unconditional grace and mercy, all our presentations are not more than clanging gongs.
Keep an eye on the Schuman Centre website for news of the 2014 forum - it is an excellent event to be involved in and we hope to see, in 2014, a much greater attendance and involvement by those under 35…
Bless avenge last years league defeat by recording their first win in a four quarter classic against the fancy dress wearing youth of Rising Brook.
Bless started the first quarter brightly taking an early lead despite kicking off only 10 hours after their previous game. Rising Brook responded and an balanced opening quarter ended 2-2. Goals from Summers and MATTa.
The second quarter was a story of two eighths. Rising Brook dominated the first seven minutes taking a 5-2 lead, before goals from TIMpar (2), MATTa & tourBRAY put bless into a 6-5 lead at halftime.
The heavens opened at the start of the third making the concrete pitch VERY slippery and chances were reduced to a premium. Bless maintained their one goal lead by the end of the quarter. 8-7. Goals for TANTONa & Summers.
Bless scored two early goals in a crucial final quarter to effectively kill off the game. TIMpar and MATTa & Summers completing a hat-trick of hat-tricks. Final Score 11-8.
This storify report from Ruth Garvey-Williams should give you a good flavour of this year’s State of Europe forum. Next year: Athens. A great opportunity to take stock of the European project in a city that was hugely significant in Europe’s birth, effectively launched the Christian evangelisation of the continent and is now at the epicentre of our crisis…
This is church… Great time today with Beta church; worship together; eating together then jobs around the house this afternoon to get ready for the wedding of the century.
It was a Catholic Priest in 1950’s America who coined the phrase ‘The family that prays together stays together’, and we have discovered a similarly timeless truth in planting a church that eats together every time it meets together. The shared table is more than a convenience and more than an added extra: it is the heart and soul of community.
We have a diverse group of ages and nationalities; some speak no French at all, some no English; some are looking for a youthful, future-focussed church, others for a stable, consistent community; somer prefer to sing, others to write or paint; but in all our differences the meal table has brought us together. Eating together (literally ‘companionship’) builds relationships deeper and faster than worship and teaching ever will, important as these are. What a joy it is to share resources with one another in this way!
CONGRATULATIONS to Darko and Gorana Mikulic on the birth of their son Karlo. We love these guys and have big respect for their commitment to Slavonski brod - here is their interview from liveforothers.eu:
Introduce yourself and your city? My name is Darko Mikulic. My wife and I have been serving in Slavonski Brod baptist Chruch for last 13 years. The Lord has blessed us with three children, Lara 12, Hana 9, Matija 7 and in a few days we will be blessed with a new baby boy. We love our town and the people who live here. We trust God has brought us here to shine the light of Jesus Christ in our town.
Slavonski Brod is a the second largest city in Slavonia which is east part of Croatia. In 2009 it was voted the most beautiful city in continental Croatia by the Croatian Tourist Board. Slavonski Brod is located on the northern bank of the Sava River, on the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is the hub of the main road running west-east and north-south. The city is located halfway between Zagreb and Belgrade. Traces of Roman period suggests that this has always been a river crossing. The name of the first settlement on the site of Slavonski Brod was Marsonnia (in Roman times), later mentioned as ‘old town’ and boat, and later on Brod on the Sava. Sava River waterway has been used since Roman times and the town population is around 70,000.
What’s your city known for? Slavonski Brod is known for being one of the biggest metal industries in Croatia - Đuro Đaković.
The Brod Fortress because of its size; this fort is one of the largest such facilities in Croatia (in Europe). Brod Fortress is the largest monument in continental Croatian and is also a world heritage monument. It was built from 1715 to 1780 and was an important border fortress on the river Sava.
It is town of Ivana Brlić Mažuranić a famous Croatian novelist. In the early 20th century she wrote the most amazing children stories in this part of the world and her stories has been translated into number of languages.
If we were to visit, what 3 places would you take us? Fortress Main Squere – Korzo River Sava banks
How are you serving your city? We try to be a light house for the people in our town which point them to salvation in Christ and show them the love of Christ in action. In the last 13 years The Lord has opened many doors of opportunity to serve and He has sent many people to our town to share Good News and love of Jesus Christ with many people in our town. We had a privilege serving in the local orphanage, school for disabled children, old people home, through humanitarian and radio ministry, having bible children camps in different town neighborhoods, organizing baseball and basketball camps for young people and creative workshops, having youth clubs and internet café and teaching English adults and young people. Lately God opened doors serving to Roma kids in neighboring village. In all those opportunities through the years a seed of hope which is in Jesus was planted in many hearts. We give glory to God for all and pray that His Word and love would bring much fruit for His glory.
Where is your fave place to pray in your city? At the river bank.
Where is your fave place to eat in your city? Pizzeria UNO.
How can we pray for your city? Please pray that the Light of the Word of God and Love of Jesus Christ would penetrate into many broken and discouraged hearts of people in our town and bring hope & new life, healing and restoration both spiritually and economically.
Please pray for many unemployed and their families, for new opportunities for jobs, for new town government election that will happen in May.
Please pray for youth in our town whose only hope is to find way out of our town in search of better life to find living Hope in Jesus Christ.
Please pray for our church to be faithful in sharing the Word of God and Love of Christ with the people in our town, that God would make his church grow both in Christ likeness and numbers. Especially now as we are approaching to building a new church building; please pray that God would provide all needed for completion of this project, people, protection, wisdom and finances.
Thank you all who will pray for our Slavonski Brod. May God bless you all hundredfold. We invite you to come and visit us in Slavonski Brod and serve with us our great God.
We’re running a three week mission trip to Slavonski Brod this summer. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested
I was up early this morning and the light of the rising sun was pouring through my window. Before the demands and tasks of the day moved me into action, I paused and painted this picture reflecting on Mikoto Fujimura’s words about how the squeezing of paint from the paint tube is a symbolic act of squeezing out all the ‘unnecessary concerns of life.’ A ‘ritual’ opening the senses to the ‘reality of creativty.’
Night Shift in the prayer room. Tomorrow the room will be prayed in from 4am to 7pm. We’re looking for breakthrough, to see this place funded for the long-term. There is so much fruit here, it’s like praying in an orchard: but we still need to see significant resources released to secure its future. Will you stand with us each Friday as we pray?
God of birth and breakthrough. God of breech and of bold and of before-you-know-it-it’s-done. God who is wind rattling the trees. God who is cloud, a fist on the horizon. God who is fervour and fire and flood. God of deliverance, come.
Break open the sad and sterile softness of our comforts. Interrupt our indolence. Disrupt; defy; denounce us. Cancel our contracts with consumerism. Tear up our tawdry, too-small-to-be-worth-waking-for dreams. Flow like a fire through the forests of our shiny treasures, where we can’t see the wood for the treats. Address our addictions. Dissolve our dependency on delights to take us deeper. Shoot out our lights so we can see the stars.
It’s time God.
For an end to our indulgence.
For a reboot of redeeming love.
It’s time. We can’t go on like this. We can’t survive. We can’t thrive. We’re barely alive. So lost are we in this marsh-mallow paradise, we’ve forgotten what solid soil feels like. The smell of rain on dust. A face washed in cold water. The tiredness of walking. The simple joy of bread.
Wake us to ourselves God.
Remind us who we are. Reconnect our muscles with the missions you have called us to. Put us to your purposes. Link flesh to sinew. Sinew to bone. Bone to frame. Frame to flame. Being to breath.