Emmanuel Theological College and the Estates Evangelism Task Group recently hosted ‘Not Forgotten’, a conference for pioneering urban practitioners to gather with key thinkers and leaders in the church. Sara shares her thoughts and experiences of the time there:
What an encouraging time the Not Forgotten Conference was – from an extraordinarily exciting goodie bag on arrival to the conversations still happening. With a whole cross section of people passionate about estates ministry, from on the ground pioneers starting out on the adventure, to seasoned church planters. From academic research to supportive leaders. The whole event, hosted by practitioners, made the time feel immersed in story and surrounded by prayer. Despite being just 24 hours you felt much had happened!
The conference addressed some of the deep questions we have about our ministry, in conversation as well as hearing from experience. There was a book launch (Finding the Treasure edited by Al Barrett), a stunning listening artist, an overview from our very own Bishop Lynne Cullens and hearing from the new Northern Mission Enabler. A panel of exceptional practitioners sharing from their experiences alongside worship which came from the revelation of Christ with us in it. All of that, surrounded by an endless hubbub between the set moments which only good networking brings out.
What did I learn? What stayed other than more contacts and beautiful conversations?
Hope! I felt hopeful at the people present. I felt hopeful at the passion, commitment and creativity of those sharing their lives in the communities they find themselves. I felt hopeful that the story of Jesus and the transformation that brings is alive and thriving in communities others have forgotten. I felt hopeful at the breadth of good people doing good work. I came away feeling hopeful for church (maybe not as it has been but as it might be).
Why don’t you check out some of the moments? There is also a new Not Forgotten podcast available and some of the conference sessions have been made available on Emmanuel Theological College’s YouTube channel, you can use the links below to watch:
Day 1, Session 1: Michael Leyden
Day 1, Session 2: Keynote – Mark Powley and +Lynne Cullens
Day 1, Session 3: What would you want your local/regional leaders to know about your church planting. What’s stopping us from planting (external and internal factors)? – Claire Cooke and Dave Champness.
Day 1, Session 4: Perseverance and resilience – Chris Lane and Ben Woodfield
Day 2, Session 1: Panel Discussion – Raising up leaders as we plant and pioneer – Hana Amner, Helen Shannon, Pete and Rev Linda Tomkinson, Sharon Collins, Sam Walmsley and Sweetline Burnell