February / March 2015 - Vol. 78
Koinonia Life in the Spirit
                          Retreat 2015
Koinonia Life in the Spirit Retreat at Buckden Towers 2015
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Receiving a Fresh Outpouring of the Holy Spirit
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by James Mead
Koinonia is an ecumenical Christian university student group based in central London, UK. Members are from different Christian traditions: Anglicans, Catholics, Evangelicals, Orthodox and Protestants. Koinonia aims at being an intentional community where Christian faith comes alive, whether it be through prayer, conversations, growth in Christian life or time spent together.  
To kick-start our new year, Koinonia hosted a three-day Life in the Spirit Seminar at Buckden Towers at the start of January. While the retreat may only have been planned to help establish a student outreach in Cambridge, it was certainly a very fruitful and enriching experience for all of us that attended from London. 

On arriving at the village of Buckden located 30 minutes west of Cambridge we immediately entered into a time of fellowship, which was a key element of the retreat. That same evening we were given our first talk which included an outline of the Christian faith, as well as how it is often misconceived. However what surprised me is that despite my Christian upbringing and involvement in a Sword of the Spirit community, it felt as if I was hearing it all for the first time. But this was also the case with several others I spoke to at the time, and is testament to how actively the Spirit was working within us.

Some of the highlights of my involvement in Koinonia this past year, times that brought me closer to God and closer to my friends, were moments of what we in Koinonia-lingo call 'profound encounters'.
Our second day involved a series of talks and testimonies which were given in preparation for the prayer meeting being held that evening. Since many of us were attending our first Life in the Spirit seminar, we were taught how to be open to receiving the Holy Spirit, as well as how it would bring us new life. Throughout the duration of the retreat we would meet with a small discussion group in response to each talk, and share about what we had taken out of them. We also had one to one meeting with our group leader.

The evening was then taken as an opportunity to worship and pray over each member of our respective discussion groups. I think one important thing to mention is that if you asked everyone who attended the retreat what happened at the prayer meeting, no two people would give you the same answer. Within my own group we felt inclined to pray for a number of the spiritual gifts, and were enabled by the Spirit to encourage one another through prophetic words and scripture. God blessed us as both individuals and an outreach, and I therefore greatly anticipate placing further emphasis on our evangelism during this next academic term.

James

James Mead is a first year student of Physics at Imperial College London. He has been a key member of Koinonia for the last seven months. James grew up in Antioch Community in London, UK.
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