Over a hundred people packed into Peterborough Cathedral’s North Transept on Saturday (9th March) for the first of two Bishop’s Bible Days for 2019.
The theme of the day was ‘The Bible and Mission’, with Bishop Donald giving both a Morning and Afternoon Address. The Morning Address focused on Genesis 12:1–3, and in particular verse 2, where God says to Abraham (then Abram): “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing” (NRSV).
The purpose of Abraham’s calling to a foreign country is that he should be a blessing to many, and this is an example that Christians should follow. As Bishop Donald stated: “Abraham was called to be blessed and to be a blessing to others. You are one of the chosen people – you’ve heard God’s promise and believed it. You are thereby a child of Abraham. The call is therefore to be blessed and to bless others.”
“God wants his hand in your life – he’s interested in who you are and what you do and who you encounter. God wants to use you and make you special – that’s quite exciting.”
In the afternoon, Bishop Donald used Matthew 28:18–20 to encourage guests to “Go! We’ve been commissioned to spread the news to all nations. Jesus is saying, ‘Go! You’ve been equipped, now go out and do it’.”
In between the talks, attendees could attend two workshops based around the theme of mission. They were:
- Church buildings and mission (led by Tim Alban-Jones)
- From ‘come’ to ‘go’: Practical ways to step out of our comfort zone to reach those who won’t ‘come’ to church (Charlie Nobbs)
- Food! Five top tips for using food to grow your church (Becky Wills and Chad Chadwick – looking at how food and hospitality can bring people together, and can be at the heart of intergenerational mission)
- ‘God laughs…’ – what is not to enjoy about laughter in the Bible (Sarah Brown – looking at how humour is used in the Bible, and how it is one of the best ways to communicate)
- Mission and other faiths (Adrian Holdstock)
- Missional thinking and our missional God (Rob Bewley)
- Seven churches of the Revelation (Chris Dalliston – Dean of Peterborough)
- The environmental challenge – our role as stewards of our natural world (Peter Brotherton – National Churches Environmental Group
Since its inception in 2011, the Bishop’s Bible Day has provided a chance for parishioners across the Diocese to get together, attend workshops and study the Bible collectively. The day is designed to be for ‘anyone who uses the Bible in their ministry, in church, in school, at work, in the community or at home’.
The second Bishop’s Bible Day will take place next Saturday (16th March) at Northampton High School in Hardingstone. Places are still available, but booking is essential. To book, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01604 887049. You must book by 5pm on Wednesday 13th March.