By Lisa Brown
Walking into the ‘Diamond’ hall at UUC, the sounds of chatter and friendly laughter fill the air. The musicians are tuning their instruments whilst the speaker completes the sound checks. Every passing minute, more and more volunteers enter the room bringing with them an audible buzz. There is an exciting charge to the air as everyone from all walks of life, backgrounds, and ages come together with one thing in common; volunteers who have tirelessly and diligently given up their time in order to serve God.
Barry Forde, Chairman for New Horizon brings us together for prayer, reminding us that everything we do is for His honour and praise, we may all be strangers in the world but we are brother and sisters in Christ brought together by Jesus. The silence is broken by the recongisable sound of drum clicks, which announces the start of worship. Hands are raised high, eyes closed and hearts are open to the work of the Spirit. Voices join together to bring all glory to the Father.
The volunteers are encouraged to separate from their teams and friends and split into groups according to their birth months, which fills the air with laughter and confusion. It is a reminder that people see everything from different vantage points according to their backgrounds. They all come together, each with their special gifts that come together to complement each other. The new groups are all invited to pray for each other, strangers in life yet brothers and sisters in the Lord.
As the groups come together to pray, the atmosphere changes from one of buzzing excitement and becomes still and more conducive to the intimate experience that is group prayer. We are reminded that God is a relational God and as we are made in His image, we are also relational creatures. In this experience of heads bowed in prayer in a public place, a deep awareness and thankfulness fills me, as we are able to worship the one true God so openly without fear of persecution.
Barry closes the service by praying that all the volunteers are blessed richly by their time at New Horizon.