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Higher Deeper Wider

As I approach the final days of my year as BUGB president, it is good to look back and celebrate the wide variety of churches and situations which I have been able to visit.  It has been good to share fellowship, to learn about what God is doing in different situations and to offer encouragement and prayer on behalf of our Union.

Yet the more I reflect on the year and its encounters, from Exeter to Durham, from Nazareth to Warrington, from Southend to Caerphilly, the more I am committed to the theme which has travelled with me.  At the Assembly last year, and in many places since, I have invited people to explore Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3.14-21.  In particular, its call to a three dimensional faith –

  • higher in our appreciation of the greatness of God,
  • deeper in our response to his love and our willingness to open ourselves to the work of his gracious Spirit
  • and wider in our vision of his kingdom presence and kingdom purposes 

All begins and ends in God.  Our worship speaks when we should remain silent, sings when we cannot explain, and rests in awe before the awesome mystery of God.  Our faith is stretched and deepened as we encounter God’s grace at moments and places of extreme need.  Our perspectives on mission are transformed as we see the world as the place where God is at work redeeming and transforming lives.  Undergirding all this is a deep sense of longing which I believe is the disturbing and life-giving work of the Holy Spirit drawing us deeper into God and deeper into his kingdom activity.  Riches indeed!

I want to thank all those who, especially this year, have encouraged and supported me in prayer and gracious hospitality.  It has been an immense privilege to be invited into your homes and your churches, as well as to glimpse something of what God is doing in your various situations.  As a Union, we are in a time of change and I want to invite you to pray for one another, as well as for Jenni Entrican, as she approaches her year as president, and Lynn Green and our team leaders as they serve and guide our fellowship in the months ahead.

‘Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.  Amen’  (Ephesians 3.20-21)

Chris Ellis

If you want to think more about worship with Chris, then visit Let's Talk about Worship where you will find a series of interviews with Chris and some great linked resources for small group study in your church.
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