July/August 2012 - Vol. 61

A Report on the 2012 Sword of the Spirit International Coordinators Meeting, continued

Reflections from ICM Participants

Joy in serving a covenant keeping God
It has truly been an amazing experience for me attending the International Coordinators Meeting (ICM) in New Jersey. We were around 370 men from various countries and regions, with different backgrounds and languages; however we gathered with a common and united spirit giving our praise to the one true living God. I must say the praise and worship was truly anointed. I saw men giving their all in their worship; no distractions would take their focus from the Lord. Proverbs 29:18 says, ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish’…. The opposite is also very true, where there is a vision, the people have a joy for living, a purpose to fulfill and a mission to strive for. The vision of the Sword of the Spirit is huge: to be a community of communities, of people on a mission and living a common way of life; to be a bulwark. I was so blessed to see and be part of this bulwark in action. I am grateful to be part of and experience this bigger picture of community life.

As I pondered each day during my personal prayer time at the ICM, I realized the Lord took me out of my comfort zone, over the South Pacific Ocean, into another hemisphere, over countries and continent’s to show me the bigger picture. I have truly come back with a deeper passion and desire to take my calling seriously. To spend more time with the Chief Shepherd, our Lord Jesus, I serve a covenant keeping God and I pray that I will be true and obedient to keep his covenant relationship to the end.

- Harry Lowe, coordinator from Lamb of God, New Zealand


Prophetic sign and action of God's presence
It was a great privilege and honor for us in the People of Hope to host the third International Coordinators Meeting. Having the conference here in New Jersey, after many years of difficulties, was a prophetic action and a clear sign that God is with us. It was a privilege and a joy to serve the coordinators and Kairos leaders, and helped all of us to see more clearly that we are part of something bigger than ourselves. From providing transportation to and from three airports, to registration, to bartending at the “fellowship hour” each day, we had the opportunity to renew many friendships and make many new friends from around the world. Many from the People of Hope were able to reconnect with many familiar faces and meet many new brothers as well at the Lord’s Day ceremonies and entertainment on Saturday evening. We were able, indeed, to behold how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell in unity. “Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe"- Hebrews 12: 28).

Brian Murray, ICM conference administrator and coordinator
from the People of Hope, Newark, New Jersey


Changed and renewed in strength and unity
 For us in the People of Hope, the hosting of the third ICM held special significance. It was a clear expression of how much the Lord has done in our midst to not only reconcile us with the Archdiocese of Newark, but to be able to move forward together in proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Archbishop Myers wrote two letters, one to all the coordinators, welcoming them to the ICM and a second one to acknowledge the presence of Archbishop Georges Bacouni. Moreover, Archbishop Bacouni, Bruce Yocum, John Keating, Jean Barbara, Dave Touhill and myself were able to spend an evening with Archbishop Myers, sharing with him the good news of what the Lord is doing among us in the Sword of the Spirit and listening to him speak of his passion to spread the Gospel in Newark. An amazing moment, to be sure, in the midst of the action of the Holy Spirit throughout this amazing International Coordinator’s Meeting. I believe we are all changed, lifted up, and renewed in our vigor to move forward with the work the Lord has given us, in strength and unity. To God be the glory!

– Gregory Floyd, senior coordinator, People of Hope, Newark, New Jersey


Greatly inspired by the personal witness of brothers
During the four days of the ICM in Newark, I was greatly inspired by the brothers in my small sharing group. They came from Maryland, Dublin, Manila, and Pittsburgh. I’ll never complain about the number of meetings in the Lamb of God after I heard that the brother from the Ligaya Community in Manila attended three meetings a week, every week, in addition to the Sunday community meetings.

I was inspired by Jeff Smith, a coordinator from the Triumph of the Cross community in Maryland with only 29 adults, who part-time managed a university outreach to a university one hour’s drive from home. Jeff as regularly hosted Kairos gappers who volunteered a year of service, and has also sent several of his young people as Kairos gappers to other communities in the USA and Europe. All from such a small base of members. Wow!

I thought the main theme saints, missionaries, and martyrs thinking they would focus on some historic figure with some added Scriptures to support their motivation vision. However I was surprised at how personal the reflections were and relevant to my own life.

David Mijares a Servant of the Word brother from the Ibero American region spoke on our call to be martyrs, saying that we are all called to be martyrs by us accepting the call to be Disciples of Christ. The word “cross” appears 34 times in the New Testament however the word “dying” appears 111 times in the New Testament. The disciples call is to take up the cross daily and in concrete things. He quoted Mathew Henry commentary on Luke 9:23 “We must get used to all kinds of self-denial…” This is the best preparation for martyrdom. We must live a life of self-denial, mortification, putting the world aside; we must not satisfy our comfort and desires because it will be then difficult to endure hardship, suffering, fatigue and want for the cause of Christ. We receive our daily affliction and we must adapt to it.. and learn to endure hardship. Frequently we find ourselves with crosses in the road of our duty; and although we don’t have to live drawing them to us, they are out on us, we must take them and carry them following Christ and getting the best out of them.

 – Greg Hall, coordinator from Lamb of God, New Zealand
ICM 2012 Report continued

> Presidents Address to ICM coordinators
> Pastoring the Pastors: Saints, Missionaries, & Martyrs
> Signing of the Covenant and Prophetic Words and Exhortation
> Youth Work and Mission Challenges
> Reflections from ICM Participants

all photos by (c) Nico Angleys 2012
 (c) copyright 2012  The Sword of the Spirit
publishing address: Park Royal Business Centre, 9-17 Park Royal Road, Suite 108, London NW10 7LQ, United Kingdom
email: living.bulwark@yahoo.com