It looked and felt more like winter than midsummer. But the tent was packed for the second evening celebration of New Horizon 2011.

One of the features of the evening, following on from last night, was the theme of “What has New Horizon meant to you?” This year folks are encouraged to share their stories. Stephen Cave and Barry Forde (are Sky Sports still looking for a double act to replace Keyes and Gray?) talked about some of their memories, including the days when the Pope led worship (Dave, not Benedict).

There was a video message from two of last year’s guests, Ben and Gloria Kwashi in Nigeria. They had benefitted from a gift of £2500 to help them with their family of adopted children.

That gift was meant to come from the surplus funds after last year’s expenses had been covered. Unfortunately last year’s expenses were not full covered. The gift was made from reserve funds. New Horizon attendees will need to give if the stories of New Horizon are to continue for another twenty three years.

We had a short interview with the week’s Bible reading speaker, Trevor Morrow, who managed to dance around a series of questions without offending either his home province of Ulster or New Horizon worship leader, Ian Hannah. During the week Trevor will be speaking on how the truth was unleashed in the early chapters of Acts.

Greg Haslam continued on the theme of Elijah, moving from his call last night to his task. He outlined four aspects of his task (and ours, as God calls us in our day), though I think there would have been a fifth point had he not run out of time.

  1. Receiving the supply that only God could give. God works on us to trust him for the resources that we need. Where he guides, God provides. The specific sources of provision were unusual: ravens (unclean birds) and a pagan widow. We need to beware of our prejudices that might prevent us from seeing God’s wider mercies.
  2. Providing for the poor by God’s help. As Elijah was told to help the widow, so the church is called to remember the poor. Everyone needs hope and the prophetic church is the only medium that God will use.
  3. Conveying life to a dead boy. When tragedy strikes, the church comes into its own. Elijah faced a challenge that tested his pity and also his power. God wants churches to seek him for his supernatural resources. Look for God to work miraculously, rescuing people from death.
  4. Confronting illusion with truth. Elijah called the people to commitment. In the past few decades the silence of the church on important issues has been deafening. We have the greatest message; we must start speaking.

Greg acknowledged that some of what he spoke about this evening was probably foreign to the experience of some in the audience. However he is firmly convinced of the need for both words and power. Five decades of renewal and reformation should not be dismissed.

Many stood as he closed the meeting with a call for response.