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fx Gathering Mar 2024 – Story & Song

19 March - 20 March

We’re thrilled to invite you to our Mar24 Gathering –  ‘Story & Song’

It’s all about having the real conversations, the ones that matter most to you with people who just get you, who get what it means to be a pioneer and who get what it’s like starting new forms of church.

We’re creating a space where we can share our joys, our frustrations, our pain and our wins. A space to find healing and be mindful in the company of friends old and new. It’s a space where your voice matters, where your experiences are valued, and where we come together to feel the warmth and love of a shared journey in Jesus.

Come with your story, rediscover your song

Inspired by the soul-stirring hymn ‘Blessed Assurance’, this gathering is all about embracing our individual and collective journeys as pioneers and visionaries while being reminded of songs and new songs God is putting on our hearts.

Our time together will be filled with moments of prayer, worship, and spaces to dream big.

So come join us! Let’s celebrate together, praising our Savior and growing in the freedom of what God has called us to be.


Day 1

    • 11:00 – Registration & Coffee
    • 11:45 – Session 1 – Welcome & introductions: Introducing the theme through prayer, the hymn ‘Blessed Assurance,’ and its story, shaping our 24-hour journey from sharing challenges to finding our melody in God’s song.
      • 12:00 – One-to-ones & one word: with a neighbor to “check in” and share our stories in brief.
      • 12:30 – Setting the scene: Who we are? how have we got here? FX 20 years in, What’s the fx story? Whats the fx song?
      • 12:40 – Introduction to Mindfulness: led by Karen Openshaw, Time to introduce herself (books, wonder walks) and mindfulness, and to God’s Mindfulness of us. Mindful because God first mindful of us. Psalm 8. Reflective, space for people to take time and hear. Mention of listening space, and how that will work. Books will be available at back.
    • 13:00 – Lunch
    • 14:00 – Session 2 – Mindfully connecting with our story: An exercise in mindfulness (in the room) – being present, paying attention etc. Preparing them to go somewhere else (their room, a shared space, out for a walk) to mindfully reflect on their story. Who are the characters in the story? What obstacles have you had to overcome, or are perhaps facing now? Who has helped you along the way? What are the themes that stand out to you? How is your story related to God’s story and how you share that with others…
      • 14:15 – Reflecting on our stories: Participants out being mindful. (Encourage people to come back for 15:05/15:10 so ready to restart at 15:15)
      • 15:15 – Plenary Asking how the mindfulness process was for people (i.e. reflecting on the process) and how God might have met them in that moment…
    • 15:30 – Coffee
    • 4:00 –  Session 3 – Drawing out the themes in our stories – Starting with 2s and then 4s, and then as a larger group, find ways to give people the opportunity to share their stories with one another and begin to identify some of the themes that have emerged in that. Perhaps the commonalities in our stories, perhaps the differences in our stories.
      • 17:00 – Reflecting back: Karen will be offering reflections on the stories we tell ourselves, the brain’s negativity bias etc., leading into a recognition and offering to God of the negative aspects of our stories, and a time of gratitude for the memories of good episodes in our story. Moving into an act of closing worship to include Rob Bell’s breathe and a mindful devotion/lection divina/Jesus prayer.
      • 17:30 – Free time
    • 6:30pm – Dinner

Day 2

    • 9:15 –Welcome: By Karen with a short mindful devotion to begin the day
    • 9:30 – Session 4 – Singing our song: Introducing the FX dream to ‘sing our song, rather than taking requests’ (more later). Doing what only fx is created to do, and not fulfilling other people’s agendas. What does that look like for us? If yesterday was ‘What Is?’ we’re now moving into ‘What Could Be?’ What would singing your song (flourishing in your uniqueness) look like?
      • 9:40 – Discover your song: People going away to mindfully reflect upon singing their song. Inspire yourself. Hear God’s renewed sense of call upon your life. Write your song! Be creative – art, poetry, etc.
      • 10:30 – Regather:  Time to gather together and watch the Rob Bell – Rhythm video
    • 10:45 – Break
    • 11:15 – Session5Our line of melody in God’s song: Time for sharing our songs… Opportunities for ‘I have a dream’ speeches, poetry, songs, as individuals share something of their uniqueness. Maybe around tables first, but mostly plenary – an opportunity to cheer one another on, and celebrate their uniqueness. Perhaps with a simple liturgy to thank and acknowledge each individual that has shared
    • 12:15 – Lunch
    • 13:00 – Session 6 – Going Home Singing: Sharing our dream/our song, our framework, our priorities moving forward, our new funding structure, our focus on people…
      • 13:30 – A mindful space for action planning
      • 13:55 – Praying for one another in the actions we’re committing to…
      • 14:15 – A closing time of worship
    • 14:30 – End with tea & coffee



19 March
20 March
Event Category:


The Hayes Conference Centre
The Hayes Conference Centre, Hayes Ln
Swanwick, Alfreton DE55 1AU United Kingdom
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