An exhilarating taste of the Kingdom

An exhilarating taste of the Kingdom

Deborah Chapman, Assistant Chaplain of St George’s and MULOA Chaplain in Europe, reports back on the Northern Spain Area Deanery Retreat and Confirmation & Commissioning service that took place at St George’s Barcelona.

Joy Is a Kingdom of Justice and Peace: That was the title of the Northern Spain Area Deanery retreat held 31st May-2nd June 2024. It left me and others filled with the joy of knowing ourselves deeply loved by God and part of a diverse people knitted together by the knowledge that we belong in the realm where Jesus is King.

Those from the Balearic Islands of Ibiza, Menorca and Mallorca and the Costa Brava of Spain, Italy and Malta came and stayed at the Espai d’Interioritat run by Carmelite Missionary Sisters, two blocks away from St George’s Church, where the retreat sessions were held. They were joined on Saturday and Sunday by others who live locally and stayed for lunches prepared and served by the Mothers’ Union at St George’s.

Peace

As Bishop Alison White, Honorary Assistant Bishop in Europe, led us into reflecting on God’s dream for his creation, the presence of the Holy Spirit palpably drew us into God’s enduring reality, where he promises that they will not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain (Isaiah 11:9).

For some, there were tears of longing desire for more of that reality.

Justice

Kathryn Anderson, Provincial President of Mothers’ Union for Canterbury, and Julia Jamieson, Global MU Trustee, brought us a taste of MULOA (Mothers’ Union Listens, Observes, Acts) in England and worldwide, with a focus on a literacy and numeracy project in Burundi, which has had such lasting effects on thousands there.

This is justice in action after listening to what God requires of us (To act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God… Micah 6:8) and observing what he is already doing in order to work with him in his world.

The session functioned as a way to officially refer to MU in Europe as MULOA in Europe and MULOA at each of the local branches in Europe.

Joy

Danny Hampson of 24/7 Prayer on Ibiza left us with the truth that can often elude us: God delights in me as a unique and beloved creation!

Joy in us is threefold:

  • it is a gift of God
  • it is a fruit that we allow the Holy Spirit to grow within us
  • it is relational

As we join in the dance of the Trinity, we join in the joy that flows between the persons of our triune God.

Needless to say, after a day of such moving and rich input from God through our speakers, the worship on Sunday was an exhilarating taste of the Kingdom, as six people were confirmed, two were welcomed into the Anglican Church, and Kiki Marriott was commissioned as the new MULOA President in Europe.

Please pray as we give ourselves to working with God in making his dream for his creation a reality!

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