Bethany Association 2021 Conference Update
In August, the Bethany Association of women living single for the Lord in the Sword of the Spirit held their bi-annual conference on zoom. In their conference newsletter, you can read about new commitments, upcoming changes, and of God's work at their conference that gathered 23 sisters with life-long or full commitments to live single for the Lord as well as 10 women in further discernment from across 18 communities worldwide. The conference served to discuss the call and charisms of the Bethany Association considering the prophetic words from the past 50 years of celibate life amongst women in the Sword of the Spirit. With a shared vision to be an increasingly visible prophetic witness of God’s love among His people, the sisters look ahead to their upcoming council elections and ask for your prayers for their lives and witness in our communities.
The Turning is back
Do you remember The Turning? A number of us took part in this back in 2019 and also did some street evangelism here in Acton, with some surprising success.
Well, it is back. Unfortunately the re-launch weekend is the same as our Anniversary weekend, but I am sure this will mean some opportunities coming up to take the gospel out onto the streets of Acton. Watch this space...
Celebrating our 50th anniversary – a beautiful, illustrated history
We have now launched the book I Will Pour Out My Spirit – 50 years of God’s faithfulness. An illustrated history of covenant community in the Sword of the Spirit.
The purpose of this book is to tell in brief the story of how God has called together Christians from many churches to form an ecumenical, charismatic community of communities based in a common covenant. The history text was written by Bruce Yocum, Bob Bell and Henry Dieterich and it was adapted into a shorter version for this illustrated edition. The book also includes anecdotes, photographs from the early days as well as new information such as the updated world-map with our 94 communities.
The book is now available for purchase or pre-order in various platforms.
The hardcover book has a cost of $26.50 USD but you can get a 50% discount by using the code SOSMEMBER50 at checkout when buying at the BookBaby Store. You can also get your hardcover from Amazon at a regular price. Or alternatively get a paperback version on Amazon for only $8 USD.
If you’d like to preview the book before getting one, go visit our website and read it there.
Ralph and Mary - also married!
We rejoice with Mary and Ralph who were married this last Saturday in Sallynoggin, Dublin. We rejoice that family and friends were able to be there from Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow and London. We especially rejoice that Vincent was able to be there, recovered from his cancer. We definitely give thanks for livestreams so many of us could participate from afar. And what a great looking couple!
Please pray for them as they honeymoon together, and as they settle into their new life in their new flat on Crefield Road (Ralph has literally moved next door!).
Michael and Lizzie - married
Michael Potter and Elisabeth Whittam were married at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Acton on Tuesday. It was a wonderful celebration! Thank you to all of you who were able to join us, in person or on-line. A huge thank you to everyone who contributed to the day and helped the event to run so smoothly.
It was a real joy to be together with each other and with the Lord, and to celebrate this event with Lizzie and Michael and their families.
Please pray for them as they honeymoon and as they settle into life in their flat on Grafton Road.
Sylvia Kahn, RIP
We are sad to let you know that Sylvia Kahn died on Sunday, aged 84. She had been suffering from dementia for several years.
Sylvia, and her husband, Bob, were stalwarts of the community in our early days. They moved into the Acton cluster (into the house where the Thompsons are now) and they opened their hearts and their home to many, including the Kyle family when they first arrived from Belfast. When the Perrys wanted to move into Acton they moved into the Kahn's house, whilst the Kahns moved into the house the Perrys were able to buy.
Bob and Sylvia spent many years moving around the world the world and through many Christian streams, always delighting in the Lord and in his people.
Please pray for Bob, and for their five children and their families.
New Youth:Link initiative in Yeading
Excitingly, Youth:Link, our youth outreach, is about to start running one event a month in a church hall in Hayes, near the Hillingdon cluster. This is all thanks to Joe Pender, who refused to be defeated in his quest to make this happen and eventually succeeded by talking with Pete Mackenzie about coming and using his church hall. Pete kindly agreed!
Joe’s legacy lives on, and coming out of lockdown, this about to start up in a week or so! Please do pray, especially for Katrina and Natalie who are leading Youth:Link right now, for strength, as they both work full time, and an anointing of the Holy Spirit.
Please also pray for the youth at Pete’s church, as he is going to invite them, and there are potentially at least a dozen who might come along ... interestingly, despite lockdown, a couple more youth from Hillingdon have also started coming along this year, so please do pray that God would continue to be at work and bring those He wants to touch and bless.
We will be buying some things to set up the hall, but some donations would really help too!
– Rebecca Delargy
Video message from the SOS President
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Greetings in the name of Christ! Now that our Eastern Orthodox brethren have celebrated Pascha, I can wish everyone in the Sword of the Spirit a very happy Easter season.
Here is a video message from Jean Barbara which Jean would like all the brothers and sisters in the Sword of the Spirit to see. In it Jean talks about the 50th anniversary of Sword of the Spirit covenant community which we want to celebrate, and he mentions an illustrated history of the Sword of the Spirit: we will send you soon some information on how to obtain copies of this book. Jean refers to a meeting of the International Assembly ‘in the summer’: this will now be on Saturday October 9, and we will send out more information in the coming weeks.
Please arrange for your community members to see this video – either by showing it in a community gathering, or sending the link out to your members and asking them to watch it in their sharing groups or on their own. If your people will struggle with English or Spanish, please arrange to add language subtitles to the video (let us know if you need help with that). The IEC wants every SOS member to see this and hear about the priorities for this next season that we believe the Lord has for us.
We will be saying more about these priorities in the coming months, including presentations of them to the regional councils and to the International Assembly, and then to the International Coordinators Meeting in November.
Thanks brothers and sisters for your help with this. The IEC considers this to be an important message for all our members, and appreciates your help in getting it to everyone.
Peace in the Lord,
Sharing Group Follow Ups - April 2021
If everything were perfect, what would we have to endure from others for God’s sake? But now God has so arranged things that we may learn to bear each other’s burdens, for no one is without faults, no one is without burdens, no one is wholly self-sufficient, no one has enough wisdom all by himself. That being the case, we must support and comfort each other; together we must help, teach, and advise one another, for the strength that each person has will best be seen in times of trouble. Such times do not make us weak; they show what we are.
- Thomas à Kempis
Sharing group follow up questions:
- How Self-Sufficient do you regard yourself?
- Do you look to others for support and you to support others?
- Do you value the relationship with your Pastoral Leader/Helper?
- When was the last time you met?
- How do you see your role in Sharing Group?
A note of thanks from Mike
I'd like to thank Antioch for all their prayers for me and ask them to continue. It has been quite an ordeal. I have been through nothing quite like it (and it continues, I have not been pain free since this all started on January 2nd with Covid 19, then worsened on Jan 15th with a broken ankle due to Guillian Barre.) I only discovered in early March how many things had gone seriously south! It wasn't just that I was paralyzed from the neck down, was on a ventilator for two weeks and receiving oxygen. I didn't actually know I was knocking on death's door -- I was hallucinating most of three weeks. (I remember my hallucinations and little else between January 20th and February 25th.)
I believe God answered the prayers of the saints. I especially see this in three ways:
1) My rapid recovery -- I was still paralyzed on February 25th and got out of the hospital using a walker on March 15th. (Guillian Barre typically takes six to nine months to recover to 85%.)
2) More significantly, I was far more joyful than usual throughout my time in hospital and
3) Your prayers got me through the darkest times. I lost my ability to remember any memorized prayers: I could not make it through the Lord's Prayer nor night prayers, I either forgot the words or simply forgot what I was doing. I had no way of validating that I had any relationship with the Lord. That was frightening.
I am still wrestling with Guillian Barre. I am in pain most of the day from my calves down. Sleeping is difficult. My thinking is still confused at times. Typing is very slow but I can do it, and my sense of balance is bad, but I am still "improving more rapidly" than most according to my doctors and therapists.