I had the opportunity to go to an incredible Worship Pastor's Retreat in London this past week. It was led by a group called worship central which is a group that trains worship pastors around the world and is headed by Tim Hughes. You would probably know some of his songs which include Here I am to Worship and Beautiful One. I found out about the retreat almost on accident as I was looking at their website. I applied, not thinking that I would be chosen to go since they only allow 20 worship pastors to come and people were applying from all over the world. Long story short, I was chosen and I headed off to London.
I left at 1:00pm last Friday and arrived in London at 9:35am on Saturday. Needless to say, I was about to pass out, but I had been warned by friends not to sleep when I got there or I would never get on the proper schedule. So, I went to my hotel--a trip that took about 3 hours by the time I claimed my luggage, found my train, caught a connecting train and walked to my hotel carrying my suitcase, carry on and my guitar. When I finally got to the hotel, I shut the door to my room and it was so quiet. In that moment I knew that it was going to be hard to be away from Jennifer and Avery for a whole week. So, to avoid thinking about it, I left and hopped on a double-decker tour bus to see the sights. Here are some of the things I saw that first day.
I had one more day to see the sights, so I took off on foot and wandered aimlessly all day. One thing that I knew I wanted to do was eat Fish and Chips, one of my favorite meals. I finally found an authentic pub and when the food came, it looked so good I had to take a picture to send to Jennifer. Here is a picture of the place and the food.
Ok, so one place that you should never go when you are in London is a place called Halfway to Heaven. I was about to go to the national art gallery and I had been walking for a while, so I stopped in at this pub to get a drink. Well, as I was standing there, I noticed that they had just played three George Micheal songs in a row and I know he's British and all, but I knew something was up. I started looking around and all of the pictures on the wall were of women, but they didn't look like women. That is when I realized my mistake and after I felt like I waited long enough, I bolted across the street and took this picture of the outside of my new favorite gay pub. Nice.
The retreat itself started the next day and lasted for five days. It was a great experience as there were worship leaders from all over the world who came together to learn how to better lead our congregations and just relax and be refreshed in an amazing environment. The house where we stayed was built by Archbishop Barham as his personal residence during the time when Henry VIII was married to Catherine of Aragon. It was exactly what I would picture the English countryside looking like complete with rolling hills covered with sheep.
We had some great times of worship at the retreat and it was fun to be around worship leaders who came from countries all over the world including Rwanda, Norway, Holland, and England. Tim Hughes and the team from Worship Central were so humble and unassuming. They were the experts, but you got the sense that they came to learn as well. Here is a picture of Tim Hughes and his baby, Phoebe.
Just in case you are in England any time soon, here are some words that I picked up whilst I was there.
Proper- real, good
posted by Dave