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A look back at Revive ’13

A couple of Fridays ago some 600 adults and 400 children (including many from CCM) arrived at the University of Kent campus just outside Canterbury for a weekend of Bible talks, fellowship and rest.  With an age range from 0–80 years old and nationalities as diverse as Chinese, Rwandan and Australian, it could only be Co-Mission’s annual weekend away – Revive.

On the first night people trickled in over the course of the evening to have supper either in the pub or their shared flats. Later on we gathered together for a drinks reception with the rest of CCM in the sports bar then headed over to enjoy a relaxed interview by Matt Fuller with a panel of various people within the Co-Mission network; including several of our mission partners whom we support and pray for at CCM such as the Nelsons in Paris and the Lambrechts  in Rwanda.

The next morning had a fairly leisurely start (compared to other weekends away) with the first talk kicking off at 10am. It was great to hear Richard Coekin (founder of Co-Mission) speak from the book of Acts, encouraging us to live as Christians in the world, for the good of the world. Alongside this were children’s sessions run for each different age group throughout the morning talks. The children learnt from the book of Acts too, but with a bit more colouring in and playing games than their adult counterparts!

After the two morning teaching sessions people spilled outside to have a picnic lunch, enjoy the sunshine, and make the most of a very relaxed Saturday afternoon. There were various activities for the kids, then also options to play sport, visit the nearby city of Canterbury, or nap in the sun. A personal highlight for me was the kids’ disco – complete with DJ, loud music, blazing disco lights, and even a dry ice machine (no expenses spared)! Seeing some of them learn the ‘Macarena’ for the first time was a truly heart-warming sight.

Later on in the afternoon were two optional seminar slots on a whole range of subjects, given by various people within the Co-Mission network of churches. This was a great chance to hear teaching on specific life issues, and to get to know a few people from other congregations.

In the evening most of us had supper outside again to make the most of the beautiful weather. While outside we were able to enjoy live jazz music from the band Jazzbomb, and at the end of the night to watch a stunning fireworks display. It was a great end to a great day.

The following morning we had our final two talks from Acts. There was also a slot to hear more about Co-Mission’s exciting vision to planting lots more little churches across London. Sunday lunch consisted of a huge BBQ outside in the sun, followed by an epic tug-of-war competition between all the different churches. CCM’s strong team admirably got through the first round but were sadly knocked out at the next stage by St John’s Chelsea, a church who happen to run a gym as part of their ‘outreach’...

Finally, at 3pm, there was an all-age session to round off the weekend which included a talk, the children’s performance of a song, some of the youth leading us in prayer, and Richard Criddle hiding in a small, sweltering, dark box for nearly an hour!

As the weekend drew to a close, people headed back toward London for the 6:30pm evening service at CCM.  All in all, Revive 2013 was a great weekend to rest, receive good Bible teaching, worship God and be encouraged by enjoying fellowship with our diverse range of brothers and sisters from across the Co-Mission networks. I hope to see you there in 2014!