They are hosting a series of Zoom interviews with some of the practitioners from Strategic Development Funding projects on Thursday lunchtimes throughout September and October. The first of these is on Thursday 17th September at 12.30pm and will be a conversation with Rob Fowler about his experiences of leading a church plant in Whitleigh, in Plymouth. Whitleigh is an estate parish and Rob’s experiences will include the highlights and challenges of working on an estate.
To register to watch live, where you’ll be able to submit questions, please click here:
The idea of the course is to help Christians talk to our friends, neighbours and anyone we know about what we believe. There are a couple of short introductory videos on the website which explain a bit about the course.
Resources are free to download though you will need to sign up to access the next 5 sessions.
Whilst it is not possible to meet as groups in church at the moment or in each others’ homes, it would be possible to share this course on the internet if you can access Zoom or a similar on-line platform for sharing.
Government guidelines and restrictions remain firmly in place whilst COVID-19 is with us for our safety.
As restrictions ease the organisers of Leading your Church onto Growth look forward to being able to offer residential conferences again in October and November. Conferences will be hosted by the Christian Conference Trust (CCT) who will ensure that the conferences will adhere to the current safety guidelines.
The purpose of LYCiG is encourage and equip local churches to grow spiritually and in numbers. People on the team come from all kinds of churches from urban to rural, high, low, evangelical, Catholic all with a desire to lead more people to Jesus.
Robin Gamble leads the team and gives a very practical, friendly and warm welcome to conferences. You can find out more about the organisation here
Follow LYCiG on Facebook to access free up-to-date resources and to meet members of the team.
I am pleased to let you know about a new Mission on the Margins Practitioner track. Urban Life have been developing this with St Hild and we will commence accepting students in September.
Mission on the Margins is designed for people who are involved in mission and ministry in marginal contexts and with marginalised communities. We offer a wide range of modules and a flexibility that enables participants to discover the best learning path for them. Participants can be accredited at MA, postgraduate and graduate level or you can follow a non-accredited path. Modules are taught through a mixture of online seminars, further reading and in person sessions at St Hild’s Sheffield and Mirfield centres. I’ve attached a flyer that gives you more information or you can visit www.sthild.org/practitioner-tracks.
We believe that the training we are offering will enable participants to engage in learning that will increase their understanding of their practice. If you have any questions, then please feel free to ask.
Kids Matter has a vision to see every child in need raised in a strong family. We engage local churches to use relational, evidence informed programmes to equip parents and carers in the community who are facing disadvantages with confidence, competence and community enabling their children to thrive. Everything we do is focused on the country’s vulnerable children. We train peer facilitators from churches and they provide ongoing support and supervision to run the programme, help churches connect with new families and to support churches to continue to build relationships with families who have been on the programme.
The parenting groups are small with no more than 4 – 8 parents. The atmosphere is informal, it is always sitting around a table together over coffee, tea and pastries, working together with user-friendly and evidence-informed booklets, all led by the trained peer facilitator from the local church. The programme has been adapted so that it can run via group video calls, along with the facilitator training which is also available online. Even though currently we can’t all sit around a table with tea and coffee we still very much encourage our facilitators to create a warm hospitable atmosphere through zoom, one facilitator even delivered biscuits to each of the participants homes beforehand
You can find out all about kids matter here (www.kidsmatter.org) where you will also find free resources that you can use with families.
Here are few comments on the impact of Kids Matter parenting programmes.
‘These weeks have been a real journey for our family, my 4 year old now says ‘I love you mummy’, he never used to do that before.’
‘It’s helped me massively to realise it’s ok to feel overwhelmed sometimes. Talking to others and realising I am not alone’
‘I realised the importance of eating together as a family we never did that when I was growing up and I felt like my mum didn’t know me.’
‘Kids Matter has proved to be an excellent way to help churches engage with families and caregivers, particularly in areas where family life is a struggle. I would recommend any church looking to nd ways to connect with parents in their parish to explore Kids Matter.’ Rt Revd Dr Graham Tomlin. Bishop of Kensington
We’re excited that Multiply: 2020 Church Planting Conference is moving online on Thursday 25 June.
We are seizing the opportunity to gather to explore the possibilities and challenges of multiplying disciples, churches and networks in this new reality. We are bringing together movement leaders and speakers from England and further afield, as well as testimonies from church planters who are breaking new ground.
Thursday 25 June
Morning main sessions
Afternoon interactive options
(more details to follow)
Join us online to hear movement leaders andspeakers presented on YouTube and via Zoom, along with seminars and stories from church planters.
We are creating an online experience to equip, stimulate and inspire you for the next season of ministry. Learning together, we will explore turning increased online attendance into discipleship, growth and multiplying churches.
More details to follow on speakers, interactive seminars and making the most of our time together.
Below are some of the ways in which leaders on the estates have been reaching out to their congregations during the COVID-19 lockdown.
I’m putting a service online as a Youtube playlist, with my videos interspersed with songs and hymns that are already on there, avoiding copyright issues or anyone having to listen to my singing. I’m finding that the music and the sermon are the two things that people are appreciating. If anyone can’t video, then putting together a Youtube playlist of music may be very much appreciated by congregations.
Much of ministry has now gone online – with Zoom being flavour of the month for most of us. Here in Harlow that means that we are working with other churches a bit more closely – with talk of sharing worship resources through recorded songs and the like.
Pastoral care involves telephone calls, emails or text messages – whatever works for most effectively keeping in touch. And we are drowning in advice, support and resources about effectively going online.
As a plus – perhaps at the end of this some of us may choose not to give up on our online presence. If we have built up a following, perhaps we will continue to live-stream, only this time involving a congregation as well as the solitary service leader in a room.
Virtual meetings, on a more practical note – may be a good way forward for NECN. We could gather people from different parts of the country without the need for any of us to leave our communities. For busy Estate Ministers there is a time for gathering, and being encouraged, but there is also a time for staying put – but maybe still having an hour to fellowship with other Estate Ministers. What about a Zoom fellowship for folk from different parts of the country but similar contexts?
from Darren McIndoe in Harlow
If you have any more ideas of what is working with your church communities please do get in touch, We would love to hear from you.
Check out the You Tube video of people sharing highlights from this year’s Reaching the Unreachable Conference in London.
Here are some of the things people have said:
Ministry can be hard at times on the estates so it is great to be with people with similar struggles. The focus always needs to be on the Lord Jesus. Asking, “Is it worth it?” is the wrong question. Instead we need to asking, “Is he worth it?”
We need to keep looking to Jesus because he understands.
The size of the church doesn’t matter. God is still there doing God’s work. We are a light in the community.
“I came to faith when I heard the Bible being explained in council estate language.”