In his famous poem, John Donne quite perfectly reflects God’s heart for community when he writes:-
No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
It seems that these words, whether intentionally or not, are an expression of the Apostle Paul’s teaching to the church in Corinth; drawing the parallel conclusion that a body is not made full unless it draws on the presence of all its members. For Paul, the church – the body of Christ – is only complete when all are emerged into one working function; the foot and ear are no less important to the body than the hand or the eye for instance.
It is for this reason that SPEAK value the dynamic of community and group so highly, since without it, our voice against injustice would be greatly diminished; and not just that, but our accountability in faith and spirit would be undoubtedly harmed. Each SPEAK group member brings a unique passion, gift and skill too, and without them, the success of campaigns and the vibrancy of the group prayer life would also be lessened by their absence.
So if you have been a member of a speak group for a long time now, be encouraged that your contribution remains as sought after as it was when you first joined up. Further still, if you have been a member of a group for a long time now, but have doubted the importance of your gifts and skills, be encouraged that the body needs you. Finally too, an encouragement to readers who have thought about joining a group but have thus far resisted the idea; get involved! You may just be the vital body part that a SPEAK group near you is missing.
In this vein, it gives me great pleasure to announce the genesis of some new groups! Cardiff will be launching their first group meeting on Monday (8th) do visit Cardiff SPEAK on facebook oto keep up to date with all the latest info. Oxford will also be up and running soon with a meeting on the 25th at the Oxford Community Hub (5pm). Along with these two new groups, we’ve also had some exciting movement in Bournemouth and Brighton. For more details on getting in contact with current SPEAK leaders and finding your local group (both young and old), fly over to http://www.speak.org.uk/network/speak-groups.
If you scroll over the map and find no SPEAK group near you, this could well be your time to act and start a group in that place! It may seem daunting, but fear not, the Network Support Team is here to support you all the way. Just ring us on 02089819441 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.