Friday, 9 May 2008

Pentecost Festival - City Temple

This evening I am sure that Martyn had a great time at Westminster Central Hall. But having heard him regularly this year Garry and I went to a different venue as part of Pentecost Festival in London. We went to City Hall to an evening with american evangelist Tony Campolo and singer/songwriter Graham Kendrick.

Tony Campolo was funny and challenging and inspiring. He is at his most passionate when talking about the poor and encouraging Christians to live out the Gospel message. He is also not averse to laughing at himself and the Church. One story was of him, a Baptist, asking a Methodist friend why he was a Methodist. His friend replied that his father was a Methodist, his mother was a Methodist and so he had become a Methodist. So, said Tony, if your father was an ignoramus and your mother was an ignoramus I suppose you would be an ignoramus. No, said his friend, I'd be a Baptist! Maybe you had to be there.....

Graham was great and led worship at the beginning and sang more of his own songs related to justice for the poor at the end of the evening. Both of them were encouraging people to support the child development ministry, Compassion.

I got the opportunity to speak to Tony's wife Peggy in the interval, which I was really pleased about as she is a real supporter of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and I have admired the way that she and Tony have spoken together showing that people can live together (literally) with respect for each other whilst having different views on this issue. After the interval Bubba McNeely who is Music Director at New Life Praise Center, Houston, Texas and is in UK with Tony and Peggy, sang a couple of gospel songs.

It was a really good evening with much food for thought about following in the steps of Jesus.

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