Earlier I had mentioned in passing that Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby spoke at the Vineyard UK/Ireland National Leaders’ Conference last week. Sadly the conversation between him, his lovely wife, Caroline and the Vineyard national directors, John and Eleanor Mumford, has been taken off the internet… however, I did make some notes about his talk that I wanted to share with you all. 😀
First off, it was really cool to hear a little more about Justin’s background as he has a very influential position on the world stage (the Anglican Communion has around 85 million members worldwide). One cool item that stood out to me was the openness that he and Caroline had towards the movement of the Spirit through signs and wonders. Having never been to an Anglican church, I’ve always assumed that they were more cessatist (I know, I know…it is wrong to assume…). However, Justin spoke of being greatly influenced by John Wimber and having just come back from a retreat center in Europe ran by a bunch of charismatic Catholic monks (I told you assuming was wrong! Besides, I should have remembered that Wimber spend years blessing the Anglican Church!).
Secondly, and I think most importantly, at one point in the conversation John Mumford asked Justin what he thought about the Vineyard. Justin responded with a wonderful encouragement to keep on keeping in the direction and calling that God gave us. Here is the question John asked as well as Justin’s response (transcribed by yours truly):
John: “What do you feel that the Vineyard can bring? What can we contribute as a family of churches that loves to be part of the broader body of Christ?”
Justin: “I think it is a really important question. I think – there is a lot of answer that can come. One of the one’s is around the holistic ministry – the idea that you deal with people as they are, not as you would like them to be – you deal with them where they are – you take them were they are – the ministry to the poor, integrated utterly with a passionate commitment to Jesus Christ and to worship. I think I want to say something else – for me part of the inspiration of the Vineyard is seeing the reminder that in the presence of Christ we can we transform the life of the church, which in the churches we have been at – it is sometimes taken a while – and it is this sense of transformation – of integrity, reality and hope and living in the power of the Spirit. I suppose I want to encourage you all in more than anything else: Do not move away from the gift of the spirit to this place.” (underlines added)