Proximity Conference 2021

Network for every estate

We wanted to let you know that Proximity is heading back online for 2021!

Running from 7-8 May, Proximity is our annual Urban Mission Conference and it’s totally FREE. We’ll be joined by inspiring and challenging speakers including Bob Ekblad, Rachel Gardner, Josh Smedley, Andy Hawthorne, Sam Ward and Sarah Small who will help each of us explore God’s call to his church to Mobilise.

Over the two days we’ll be digging into the book of Philippians and will be equipped, inspired and challenged for urban mission through teaching, TED-style talks, stories and worship. Whether you’re just exploring the call to mission, or whether you’re in this for the long-haul, it’s time to mobilise!

To book your free tickets and to keep up-to-date with our programme and speakers visit: Proximity 2021: Mobilise – The Message

Please do promote in your churches and networks and share with your friends.

The World of Jesus a New Course from Jesus Shaped People

Jesus Shaped People

A new 8 week online course on Wednesdays from April 7th, 7–9 pm

Gordon Dey from Jesus Shaped People has created an eight-week, Zoom-driven course entitled World of Jesus that draws from his experience of leading pilgrimage groups to Israel and Palestine over the past 30 years.

Gordon is offering the opportunity for people belonging to JSP linked churches to experience World of Jesus on Wednesday evenings from 7pm to 9pm between Easter and Pentecost, beginning on Wednesday April 7th. The course will give insight into the context of Jesus’ ministry—the geography and history, and the way people lived their lives under Herodian and Roman control and influence, using maps, photos and other graphics. Afterwards we’ll explore the impact of this on the church today in small groups and plenary questions.

There is no charge to those taking part, however donations in support of Jesus Shaped People are warmly encouraged! Information of how to do this is provided on the JSP website: www.jesusshapedpeople.net

flyer is also available to download and print on the website that can be used as a poster. If you want to take part please book a place with Gordon: gordon@jesusshapedpeople.net. Your place will then be confirmed and you will be sent more detail about each of the sessions. Later those who book a place will be sent a zoom code.

Places are limited, so ‘first come first served’.

Every blessing for Passiontide and Easter.

Gordon Dey

Jesus Shaped People offers programmes and learning resources especially for smaller inner city, urban and social housing estate churches.

What Kind of Mission for the 21st Century?

Urban Mission

Calling all urban church leaders and clergy! A wonderful opportunity to hear Bishop John Perumbalath speak on mission will take place at Birmingham Cathedral as part of a day commemorating the Christian socialist, Charles Gore. This will take place on Thursday 16th September from 10.30 am until 3.30 pm.

Register for free enquiries@birminghamcathedral.com.

You may also be interested in the first annual Gore Lecture which will take place the same evening at 7.30 pm. For further details see https://estatechurches.org/category/events/

Apostolic training for an indigenous ministry?

Estates practitioner and priest, Joe Hasler offers some thoughts around training local people for God’s mission in extracts from his poem below. The whole reflection can be downloaded at the end of this post.

Bristol Estate

Apostolic means ‘Go to’

or ‘being sent’.

An Apostle meaning

‘one sent on a mission’.

  •     We have had the decade for evangelism,
  • a pre-occupation with leadership,
  • and now the emphasis on discipleship.

I hope this means

the direction is getting closer

to listening

to the people on the ground.

 

An important message I have heard in all this is,

“Do we want a ‘Come to’ church

or a ‘Go to’ church.”

Is it desirable to move from maintenance to mission?


So how do the trainers

and their institutions

model God’s mission

in the way we do training?

We have been trying to address these issues in the Northern Ark Mission Initiative in North Bristol.

The pilot period has come to the end of its initial three years.

Some things could have been done better

but we ask

‘Why do people from local council built housing estate congregations in Bristol come forward into growing ministry teams?”

38 people from 4 out of 6 parishes have stepped out so far;

with some to become licensed readers (6),

and some to become ordained priests (3).

Making ministry training

in a mission model

must be one of the driving forces.

But for all the things

we might have done better

here are four things we did well.

  1. Take the training to the people.
  2. Go in twos. (THE INTERVENTIONISTS)
  3. Forming learning communities in the culture.
  4. Practise what we want to preach.

The experience is that the trainers model a ‘go to’ approach

and learning is integrated

with activity in mission.


The beginning

and the end

is in becoming a more self-sufficient congregation

that is more dependent on God.

 

Indigenous is not isolationist.

It is making a stronger contribution to a bigger whole.

But local interventions

can bring the confidence

to let this, happen.

 

I think this is mainly

because the trainers,

no matter how good they are,

‘go to’.

The result is of a local congregation that naturally goes to the wider world and church.

This is what has been modelled in their training.


(More information about the initiative can be found at www.joehasler.co.uk   then find  other stuff and click on drop down menu for northern ark publications.)

To download the whole reflection click Apostolic Training for Ministry and New Pathways

Ken Leech Memorial Lecture: The Eye of the Storm

The Eye of the Storm

Ken Leech Memorial Lecture 2020 – “Learning from Ken: how to breathe in the tempest “

About this Event

Ken Leech Memorial Lecture 2020 will be given by the Right Reverend Paul Bayes, Bishop of Liverpool, on Tuesday 3rd November 2020, at 7.30.

Paul Bayes has been the Bishop of Liverpool since 2014. His ministry is marked by his concern for equality and justice.

The Lecture is held in memory of Father Ken Leech (1939-2015), who spent his whole ministry caring for the marginalised and disadvantaged. He authored many books on theology, pastoral care, and social justice.

To register visit:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ken-leech-memorial-lecture-2020-tickets-126385603743

Reflecting on your estates ministry

Estate churches are fragile communities, especially at the moment in the financial crisis brought on by COVID-19. With regulations and the pandemic situation changing day-by-day now might be a good time to pause and reflect.

How has your church community responded to the pandemic? What has this experience been like for you and for others? What has the experience revealed about inequalities and the structures of our society? Where is God in the experience? How might God be calling us to respond?

These questions are based on the structure of estates practitioner Laurie Green’s Pastoral Cycle:

  • Experience
  • Explore
  • Reflect
  • Respond

You can hear Laurie Green explain more about the process of getting stuck in and doing theology by clicking on the highlighted words above. Doing theological reflection always starts from experience.

A similar cycle of reflection, Gibbs Reflective Cycle, is explained in the video below by a German teacher who reflects on her experience of teaching German in a Spanish school. The starting point is grounded in experience, reflecting upon it, analysing it from different perspectives and coming up with a plan of action. This in turn leads to a new experience, further exploration, further analysis and refining the action plan.

An important point to note is that reflecting on experience involves listening to others as well as oneself, not diving straight into action. Another point to remember is to see the gifts that the people in your community already have, not just the difficulties that your community has to live with.

**STOP PRESS – New Jesus Shaped People Resource**

Jesus Shaped People logo

Despite our technology, wealth, and 21st Century ‘know how’ we’ve been humbled by a virus, like an elite Premier League Football Club knocked out of the FA Cup by a team no one has heard of.

How did this happen, how can we get rid of it, when will it end, how is it going to affect my future are legitimate questions.

At Jesus Shaped People we felt there is another important question: What is God saying to the churches?

This ‘liminal space’ is a teaching moment, the spectre of suffering, death, economic meltdown, loss, and acute anxiety has at least temporarily arrested our attention and captured collective imagination. To try and help churches we have created a resource that is not an answer, but rather a tool to gather around this question; ‘What is God saying to the Churches?

 ‘Stay Alert to the Spirit’ (SATS) is a 7 week resource that includes material/ideas for worship, small groups, sermons, and intergenerational worship and teaching. It can be used in buildings or on line and offered free of charge.

For further info contact: Brendan Bassett   07470136193 brendan@jesusshapedpeople.net

Welcome to MITE – Mission in the Edges

Diocese of Guildford Logo

What is MITE?

MITE stands for Mission In The Edges – it is a deliberate play on the story of the Widows mite from Luke’s Gospel:

As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury.  He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. ‘Truly I tell you,’ he said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.’

Widow's mite

We are a group of Clergy in the diocese of Guildford who meet together 3-4 times a year to share the joys and sorrows of working in and with more deprived communities in the diocese around Surrey and Hampshire.

Sometimes it may feel like we have little to offer and yet we have a huge contribution to make to the life of the diocese – in presence and prophetically reminding that we must take the poor seriously.

We talk about all kinds of topics that affect us from encouraging vocations and making diocesan training more accessible to people with differing levels of education, to what works in services when you have no one to help or do any children’s work and what version of the bible is best understood. How to be resourceful with little.

We share resources that we find useful and helpful and try to learn from each other what things make a difference in our ministries. We connect with different diocesan departments and try to keep the hidden poor in Surrey and Hampshire visible and heard.

We celebrate together the joys of church where you never quite know what the day will bring and the frustration at the systems and injustices that keep people in poverty. We encourage each other to keep on going because our successes and triumphs can be fragile – hard won and easily lost.

One key thing we have been working on after our diocesan conference  with Bishop Phillip North, is trying to find ways to enable wealthier churches to join in with us in ways that will enrich both parties – and to this end we hope that we will be able to feed some of this work – a manifesto if you like into the diocese- born out of our experience.

We are also Part of the National Estate Churches Network. https://estatechurches.org/

If your parish covers an area that has 500 units of social housing and we can help you in any way please do get in touch.

Our Diocesan contact is Danny Wignall  in the PDE dept. Danny.Wignall@cofeguildford.org.uk

Or Kirsten Rosslyn-Smith Vicar St Peter’s Shared Church  kirsten.rs@btinternet.com

Invitation to The Gospel, Redemption and Shame on-line conference

Shame

The Transforming Shame Network facilitated by Catherine Matlock invites you to an on-line conference on Wednesday 14 October 9.30am-12.30pm to explore transformation of shame within the Christian faith. 

The morning is for church leaders, pioneers and those engaged in mission to explore the issue of shame theologically and missionally. It will be both an introduction to the concept of shame in faith contexts, as well as an opportunity for deeper learning and sharing for those already aware of the impact of this issue.

They have a wonderful group of speakers, offering us a range of perspectives, including shame within the bible, mission, sexuality and race, with space for questions and discussion. There will also be creative sessions, for example Harry Baker, a much loved slam poet.

Please find out more details and register using the link below:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeI2Gi_to5zDV6XNtbF3q_V46e6LSAMibUkDEO8iaLD9CszDQ/viewform

Who do you think you are? The “I am” sayings of Jesus

Children's resource

 

CURBS resource material is made up of a number of packs called CURBStone Kits.

These are primarily issue-based and start in the child’s own world, not where we think they ought to be! The aim is to help children make meaningful links between their world and God’s story. Each kit draws on biblical material related to the theme, sometimes used explicitly, sometimes implicitly.

We recognise that many children will be non-readers. In the light of this CURBS  explore other approaches to learning, touching the child’s spirituality through imagination and creativity, the use of visual and aural approaches, and above all through opportunities to build quality relationships with each child. However, CURBS believe that even the best resource is no substitute for relationship.

If you would like to download the free resource exploring the “I am” sayings of Jesus please click here.

To learn more about CURBS please visit https://curbsproject.org.uk/

You can also read more about CURBs fundraising campaign during COVID-19 on our website is you click on https://estatechurches.org/2020/07/curbs-fundraising-campaign-during-covid-19/