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12 May 2007

Roots Review

Can't believe that its a week since we were in Southport for TSA's annual Roots gathering. Thought it was about time I said some things about it.

On the whole, we enjoyed the weekend although we are still struggling with the enlarged layout which sees us running from venue to venue in order to drop Kathryn at the creche and then pick her up within the allotted time. This enlarged layout has become necessary due to the increased number of people coming to Roots. However, its become a tad bitty and its parents that suffer. We don't get to mingle with friends new and old after events and should the Spirit take hold and the meeting over run, we have to miss out on the closing moments as the creche will wait for no-one. Thats my one gripe really and I've commented to this effect on the review questionnaire.

The conference as a whole had a huge emphasis on resourcing us to go back to our normal lives and put into practice some of the things we were taught. The theme was "Others", based on a telegram sent by William Booth to his officers in TSA's early days. The conference therefore was others focussed so there was no real emphasis on personal salvation - simply the salvation of others. I think this is a good thing as I know officers who get a bit miffed that they preach salvation week in week out and then their people go to a big conference and go and kneel in penitence. I know there's the angle that their preaching has prepared them for that time and that it doesn't matter who brings the people to God as long as they come, but I can see where they are coming from. So this "others" emphasis was to be welcomed.

Highlight of the week would probably be the ministry of Sandra Ryan from the 614 Network in Regent Park, Canada. She was leading a relaxed worship afternoon and was also the preacher for the final meeting. Her softly spoken yet powerful devotion to others was unmistakable and a real encouragement. Other highlight would be the Bible Studies led by Chic Yuill. His style is spot on and the accompanying book is a real challenge too.

I know there are those who say roots had become a bit safe in recent years and I think that is true. I also believe that the team attempted to address this issue this year and have gone some way to redressing the balance.

There's probably more to say about Roots and I may come back to that later in the week. We will be back next year with a hope that they have addressed some of the distance problems in the site. It has lost some of the intimacy that it once had and I hope they can regain some of that and bring unity again. Been interested in reading others views of the conference. If you haven't shared yet, join the debate - what does Roots need to do next?

1 comment:

John said...

Good to read your thoughts on Roots, Daniel.

I pretty much agree with everything you said. For me, this year, there was a closer adherence to the theme by speakers, seminars etc than previously, and I found that to be positive, particular as I found the OTHERS thems so pertinant. I guess one comment would be that the web presence needs to move in a WEB 2.00 direction, both pre & post ROOTS 2008. The resources, feeling of community etc could all be developed further.

I dearly wish more of my own Corps family could have attended this year because the theme, resources available, and overall experience would have been a real boon, as we try & look at making our local situation more outwardly & less inwardly focussed.

(Thanks for adding me to your blogroll, BTW!)

Peace & Blessings