Salt is versatile and unique. It is the only mineral we eat. It’s used on roads to keep them safe and in saline drip-feeds in hospitals; as a condiment on food and to soften hard water. It has over 14,000 uses and is referred to in The Bible more than thirty times.
Some mentions from the Bible itself:
- It was used to bring out flavour (Job 6:6)
- It was a sign of friendship or covenant, including between God and David’s line (Numbers)
- Jesus said his disciples were the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13; Luke 14:34) and that retaining their saltiness was essential.
- Paul used salt as a metaphor for speaking with grace and consideration (Colossians 4:6).
On Saturday 40 delegates from St Davids Diocese met together to pray, to share and learn together and to consider those ways in which salt is referred to in the Bible and how are we called to be salt today in our churches in our ministry with children and young people.
The day began with a prayer breakfast, there were some brief introductions and then two fantastic workshops.
Messy Church – Lesley Cox led a workshop on Messy Church with a particular focus on evaluating using the Self Review toolkit.
Youth Ministry in a Rural Context – Ali Campbell from The Resource gave a workshop with this particular focus which is an area many in this Diocese are seeking to know more about to enable them to engage with young people.
There was then some time for browsing resources from; Bible Explorer, Open the Book, our own Diocesan Team, The Fellowship of Vocation, Safeguarding, Scripture Union and Prayer Spaces in Schools.
We also had a Prayer Space set up which was used at various points by delegates during the whole day.
Lunch was shared together and this was an important time for networking and finding out more from one another.
In the afternoon session there were two more amazing workshops to choose from.
Scripture Union – Mike Adams led a very practical workshop on how to engage with local schools and offered some great resources as well as his own time and expertise to come along and help.
Family Ministry – Mark Griffiths explored the need to engage with families as a whole and for our churches to become places where the whole community as the body of Christ is active in children and youth ministry and passing on the story of Jesus to the next generation.
After being inspired and excited to go out and begin new work we concluded the day in prayer and reflected on what we had shared and learned. We sprinkled salt in areas where we serve on a map and prayed that God might use us.
Here are some thoughts from someone who attended the day;
“This beautiful Saturday morning, I jumped in the car and headed out to the ‘other’ side of the Preselis and managed to find the place I was looking for – Canolfan Hermon. In all the manicness of the last few weeks, I hadn’t even been thinking about the event. Walking in to the fabulous modern facility, it was great to see Clare’s friendly face, and the tea, coffee, orange juice and pastries too!
I’d been to a SALT (Sharing and Learning Together) training day before, so I knew it would be great to catch up with brilliant people I don’t get to see much. A hum of conversation grew as around 40 people arrived from across the three counties. The morning was split into a prayer time, an introduction, the first workshop and time to browse resources and chat. We took a break for lunch and then jumped back in to the second workshop, followed by a wrap up time and prayer.
I had chosen workshops with Ali Campbell (The Resource) and Mark Griffiths (Tutor at St. Padarn’s institute and author) as I wanted to learn more about youth work and engaging with families. For me, the highlight was Mark’s brilliant, surprising and inspirational unpacking of communicating living faith in the ‘God who does stuff’ through family, the community of faith and child evangelism. I also find so much value in listening to and sharing with other people who are reaching out and ministering to children, youth and families in different ways across the varied communities scattered across our beautiful west Wales. It was so great we had more time to do this, as I often find training events to be so overloaded, my head spins!
Sometimes, in all the busy juggling of life and ministry, we can get tired and sometimes a bit flat too. I found the SALT training day so encouraging and uplifting. Thank you Clare, for organising such a great day, and thanks to everyone who attended and shared. It’s great to hear how much is going on as we seek to communicate the ‘God who does stuff’ with the wonderful young people of our nation.”