In late 18th century England, a small group of energetic people of faith started meeting regularly around a pot of tea to share their frustrations with the way things were. They began each meeting with tea and a short prayer, then for three hours discussed a subject that had been proposed at a previous meeting. They prayed, discussed, imagined alternatives and put their passion into action. This group, named the Eclectic Society, included John Newton, who wrote Amazing Grace, and William Wilberforce, who helped to abolish slavery in England. This group also led to the foundation of the Church Mission Society.
In April 2016, I joined the staff and faculty of Trinity School for Ministry at the New Wineskins Mission Conference. Anglicans from across the globe took part in this fantastic conference attended by 1200 participants. I particularly loved catching up with global Anglican friends, and was re-inspired by what the Lord is doing across the world.
The famous teapot used by the Eclectic Society also made a proud appearance on the CMS UK booth. As I examined it, I imagined the faithful Christians who started the work of CMS, and the faithful Christians who continue this work. "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
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