Men’s Group

Peter Gillies has been instigating, organizing and inspiring a Men’s Group – all men are most welcome from wherever you live in the chaplaincy (or beyond). 

In 2017 the Men’s Evening will be held four times at the home of Peter & Petra Gillies.

DSC_3691PeterGilliesWhat is CrossFit? It is a play on the CrossFit fitness craze: a high-intensity fitness programme incorporating elements from several sports and types of exercise. We will not be doing anything but mental and spiritual exercises, although you are invited to come to the sessions on your bicycle!

The “red thread” of our particular brand of CrossFit will be two-fold:

To have fellowship between Christian men of all ages.

To explore the core values of Up, In, & Out

To become “fit” for the world we live in and to fulfill the Lord’s expectations

The four sessions will be as follows:

“Up” Evening – 1 April 2017

Up toward God; developing intimacy with Him – Where: Scheg 1, Nijkerk – RSVP Time: 18:00 – BBQ; ending around 22:30 Subject: The development and expression of “Up” in the Bible and how we can best do “Up” today

“In” Evening – 3 June 2017

In with other Believers; seeking community – Where: Scheg 1, Nijkerk – RSVP Time: 18:00 – BBQ; ending around 22:30 Subject: St. Paul’s take on “In” in Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians

“Out” Evening – 2 September 2017

Out with non-Believers; an engaging example to the world – Where: Scheg 1, Nijkerk – RSVP Time: 18:00 – BBQ; ending around 22:30 Subject: What “Out” to early believers and what it should mean to us.  Guest speaker from Open Doors will tell us about persecuted Christians worldwide and how we can help.

“Around” Evening – 3 December 2017

Recognizing the coherence and unity between Up, In, & Out – Where: Scheg 1, Nijkerk – RSVP Time: 18:00 – BBQ; ending around 22:30 Subject: How we can create a total and balanced approach to Up, In, & Out

For each attendee €50 will be donated to Open Doors to monitor, inform about, and alleviate Christian suffering and persecution worldwide. This will be to a maximum of €1.000… I dare you.

Saturday October 29 2016: The OUT of Up, In, and Out

DSC_3691PeterGilliesHow about rounding off 2016 with one final Men’s Evening before we are overtaken by dark mornings, dark nights, and holiday bustle?

And let’s not make it too plodding or academic…   So, what shall we do?

At All Saints our Strategic motto is: “Up, In, and Out” referring to our worship and prayer relationship with our Lord (Up), our need to focus on fellowship and discipleship (In), and our need for service and evangelism toward the broader world (Out).  My suggestion is that we focus – again, as with the Islam evening – on “Out”.

This time, however, we will have a guest speaker; some of you know him: Pieter v/d Jagt.  He was most recently in Malawi teaching wood-working and furniture making and has a story worth telling.

Indeed, many of you do, too, so let’s make it an evening of sharing and inspiration!

This is what it could look like:

1)      Location: Scheg 1, 3863VD Nijkerk; please RSVP to me.

2)      Starting time: 18:00 on October 29th 2016 – BBQ with plenty of beef and a lot of salad so our wives don’t worry about us

3)      Ending time: it’s usually pretty late – 22:00?  Something like that.

4)      Subject matter: “The OUT of Up, In, and Out”

  1. Opening readings – what does the Bible say about Out?
  2. Storytelling and dialogue with Pieter v/d Jagt and his experiences in Malawi
  3. Additional sharing of Out experiences in the group

5)      Format:

  1. Arrival, drinks and food will be provided; Opening prayer
  2. Pieter v/d Jagt – Story + Q&A
  3. Additional Sharing of Out experiences
  4. Closing prayer

I very much hope to see you all there. If you would like to invite anyone, please do so, but let me know how many will be coming so I know how long to slave over the BBQ! 🙂

Saturday 10 September 2016: What Christians need to know about Islam

DSC_3691PeterGilliesHere we go again!  The “Men’s Day” now shifts gears from the theme of 2015/2016 of “What keeps people from faith in Christ” and switches to a new theme which we might call: “Doing Stuff”.   But what is that “stuff”? – don’t know, yet, so I hope you can help me.

I have some ideas, but one of the things we need to discuss is how to move forward, keep things fresh, and exercise our faith.  One idea is more interaction with Muslim refugees – or said another way, people God has brought to our doorstep in search of Christ!

Just in case we choose to do that, we will need to know more about Islam.  Indeed, we probably need to know more about Islam in any event!  To that end, I have put together an evening that will explore “What Christians need to know about Islam”.

So, this is what it will look like:

1)  Location: David Westerbeek’s lovely estate at Treekerweg 2a Leusden-Zuid; please RSVP to me:

2)  Starting time: 18:00 SEPT 10th

3)  Ending time: it’s usually pretty late – 22:00?  Something like that.

4)  Subject matter: “What Christians need to know about Islam” – Peter will give a summary on several main subjects as he has spoken on this issue before at churches in the United States.

5)  Format: a questionnaire has be sent out with a series of questions designed to get at what the group knows and doesn’t know.  There will be a presentation from myself on each of the separate sections and well as inputs from the group – an interactive presentation.

  1. Arrival, drinks and food will be provided; Opening prayer
  2. 15 minutes or so for Peter to give the evening’s subjects and structure and to get ideas from the group about a new theme for what we will be doing
  3. 10 to 15 minutes for each subject regarding Islam
  4. Closing prayer

All men are welcome from wherever you live or hail from in the chaplaincy and beyond!

Saturday 2nd April 2016: How can you be so arrogant to think Christ is the only Way?

In light of heaven, the worst suffering on earth, a life full of the most atrocious tortures on earth, will be seen to be no more serious than one night in an inconvenient hotel.
– Mother Teresa

DSC_3691PeterGilliesWhether or not you can support Mother Teresa’s somewhat flippant take on suffering, you cannot deny that evil, suffering, and pain are at the heart of some of the most intractable questions about our Christian faith.

That is why in our latest Men’s Evening (23 Jan.), we tackled evil and suffering head on as part of a broader theme exploring the issues that prevent others from coming to Christ.  Luckily, the company provided by 15 fellow Christian men, outstanding wine, and the 3 ½ lasagnas kept any of us from experiencing any undue suffering of our own.

John14-6The subject is a complex one and aside from the personal insights and reasonings that swirled in the group, we concluded that: Pain and Suffering can be a part of growth in our faith; Evil, like Love, is a product of free will, and that there are no easy answers. Nevertheless, perhaps – it was mentioned – we are asking the wrong question. Perhaps the question is: Given that Pain, and Suffering, and Evil are such complex and unseachable problems, do we have a God Who is in control and Who can be trusted to deal with these issues in perfect justice? The answer is “Yes”; so, with the rough and tattered edges of life’s problems, we can trust Him.That was our third gathering and attendance has grown steadily.  Our next meeting will be on the 2nd of April at Bert Meeuwsen’s home in Amersfoort (Huize Metgensbleek, Ringweg Randenbroek 123, 3816 CE Amersfoort).   There we will continue with the theme of how to bring others to Christ by answering a common objection: “How can you be so arrogant as to think that Christ is the only way?”

These get-togethers start around 18:00 with a drink and then an opening prayer at 18:30. After that we engage with our topic; sometimes this is a wine tasting (Miracle at Cana) or a general discussion and next time it will be in the form of a participative debate. Somewhere in the evening we then have dinner and then come back together for a wrap-up and a parting prayer around 10:00 or 10:30… at which time most of us hang around and continue the discussion!

Our next meeting will be insightful, informative, and – if it is anything like the last get-togethers – great fun!  Any and all Christian Men are welcome, just let me know in advance if you are coming so we know how to arrange the catering; we would love to see you there.

Peter Gillies/

Saturday 23rd January 2016: The Problem of Evil and Suffering

What: “The problem of Evil and Suffering” especially as it pertains to bringing others to Christ

When: January 23rd at 18:00

Where: Treekerweg 2a, Leusden (David and Nora Westerbeek van Eerten’s home)

Who: Christian Men (come to think of it… any men are welcome!)

Why: For fellowship with our brothers and exploration of our faith… good food, good drinks, it’s all good!

How: You will have the opportunity to do some light preparation (click here) and will take you 5-8 minutes to read, please do so.
(Here’s something more, if you’re interested, a summary of what are called “The Pastoral Consolations”.)

I will provide some light structure to the evening (I despise “zinloos fun”), but, mainly, it will consist of a general discussion of the problem of Evil and Suffering.

How do you answer someone who says, “How can I possibly believe in a God when there is so much evil and suffering in the world?”

suffering2Personally, I think Christianity has a lot to offer on this question, but it still remains very difficult for any of us that have experience of suffering or have had to watch others go through great difficulties.

I look forward to seeing you all.  Please RSVP so that David Westerbeek knows how much lasagna to make – should we make a large dish of it or should we bake it in a pickup truck?  I hope for the pickup truck because that would mean you all brought someone extra with you!

Peter Gillies (06 12 78 49 02)