At the Circuit Meeting on 15 March 2016 Rev Nick opened the meeting with reflections on the Isaiah Tent:
30 months ago we started on a journey as, at an away day, the CLT explored Isaiah 54:2-3 and the idea of a circuit gazebo was born.
Since then we have purchased, equipped, erected and dismantled countless times, and in all kinds of ways reflected on the text, on what it means to make the tent larger, to lengthen the ropes and sink the pegs deeper.
Some of that reflection is seen in the banners which now adorn the tent, gathered on its journey round the circuit churches, some in the scrapbook which accompanies it.
And some is present in us, as we have sought to increase and improve the welcome we offer, to strengthen the bonds, both between us, and with those who use our buildings, to deepen our sense of God being present to us as we enter those places and times where we seek to be present to God.
I invite you now to take a moment to share with your neighbour your experience of, or reflection on the Isaiah tent, or if you missed it to take a moment to visit and view the banners within.
The 'tour' is now at an end, the tent now becomes a resource available as churches or others require it, but the reflection and response will continue.
We will hear shortly of Christian Aid, and it may be that our increased or continuing support for that is a widening of our tent. Some of our churches later this year will be engaged with 'Believe in Shipley', lengthening our ropes in partnership with other Christians. Quiet days and times of study, opportunities for learning and sharing deepen our confidence in God's grace and call.
Let us pray.
Faithful and generous God. We thank you for your presence with us thus far, as we have pitched our tent in the places to which you have called us. As we journey on, guide our feet in your way and our hearts in your purpose, that we might open the tent of our welcome to all. Keep us connected, to one another and to you, and show us where the guide ropes need lengthening to reach beyond that which we now know. And in all things, deepen our reliance and confidence in you, that the tent of your presence might always be the place in which we dwell and from which we serve.
In the name of Jesus Christ, who dwelt among us, full of grace and truth, Amen.