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:
The Church of England Strategic Development Funding supports projects which make a significant difference to the mission of its diocese.
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 session will be recorded to watch afterwards. Some of the future conversations will also be with estate parish ministers and we can share the information if you are interested.
Church Related Community Work is a distinctive and recognised ministry within the United Reformed Church and Church Related Community Workers play a vital role in the denomination’s community involvement. URC CRCWs are called by God, professionally and theologically trained and then commissioned to help the church to live out its calling.
If you are a member of the URC and feel called to ministering to your community you can read more about the role and the meet some past and present CRCWs on https://urc.org.uk/become-a-crcw/19-ministries/church-related-community-work.html
The United Reformed Church website also shares some very handy links to organisations that provide project development grants and funding on https://urc.org.uk/community-funding.html
New Wine is a network of different Christian denominations which empowers and equips Christian leaders to spread the good news of God’s Kingdom. Learning materials can be adapted to suit local situations.
During the pandemic Christians from the network have kept in touch with each other and have shared inspiring stories of how they have led people to Jesus by phone conversations or through another device. You can read the latest blog here.
Leadership Network and Urban Ministry
Church leaders can join the New Wine Leadership Network for free. Support offered by the network includes
- Pastoral prayer
- Regional connections and support
- Training and coaching
Your focus would continue to be on your local community.
New Wine also offers specific support to you if you minister in an inner city or an outer estate through events, resources and local support.
Do get in touch with Andrew Jolley if your heart is with urban ministry on https://www.new-wine.org/network/urban-ministry
This week we introduce Greg Smith, who lived and worked for churches in the London Borough of Newham for 27 years.
Greg has recently retired but has generously listed links to his many works and writings on urban mission and 21st century evangelism.
For anyone who would like to reflect more deeply on where God is at work on the estates or how understanding Christian doctrine can be relevant to the lives of working class people in a multi-cultural society, these writings are an excellent resource. You can explore more by clicking here.
Greg’s works are also very useful for anyone training for any form of church ministry who feels especially called to work on the estates or an inner-city context.
For example, a very readable paper entitled ‘Biblical Bases of Socio-Political Action‘, explains how Christian involvement in social and political issues are linked to key beliefs about God, Creation, the Fall, God’s justice in the Old Testament, the Kingdom of God, Jesus, Salvation and Christian living. Greg writes from an evangelical perspective and as a practitioner who has lived and worked among Christians from different churches and people from other faiths and with no faith.
” …it is out of the experience of mission,
and the awareness that such evils as poverty, racism, unemployment and bad housing
are barriers to the Gospel…”
We hope that you enjoy exploring the fruits of Greg’s theological research and reflection among the treasure of God’s Kingdom, the people of the urban estates. Much of what he has written is still highly relevant to today, particularly in the light of increasing poverty during the pandemic and to bring an end to racism highlighted by the Black Lives Matter movement.
If you are looking for a gentle, humorous and light-hearted course to run with a small church group we think you will like Faith Pictures.
This 6 week has been designed by the Church Army. You can find out more about it on https://www.churcharmy.org/Groups/266913/Church_Army/ms/Faith_Pictures/Faith_Pictures.aspx
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.
If you are interested in finding more please visit https://www.leadingyourchurchintogrowth.org.uk/
More about Leading your Church into Growth
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.
A very handy resource for any estate church leader or practitioner is Laurie Lee’s blog on how to do theology. The website is lauriegreen.org.
This way of reflecting theologically on situations starts not with books but with actual experience. It is called the Pastoral Cycle. Below is his diagram outlining the process.
Laurie gives a very clear introduction into what this process means in his short video on https://www.lauriegreen.org/theology-1/contextual%20theology.html
He has written a book on this called ‘Lets Do Theology’. Theology is there for all of us to do, not just for academics. God is calling poor people especially to have a go at doing theology because we may not be rich but we have a rich amount of experience to reflect upon and we still have our faith, just like Jesus did when he became incarnate and lived for 30 years before he started preaching.
As you will be well aware coming from an estate does not preclude anyone from being academic. For those of you who wish to go deeper Laurie provides links to plenty of additional papers to contextual theology on https://www.lauriegreen.org/theology-1/index.html
He also provides links to his summaries of theology books on areas of doctrine, mission, the Bible, the church and theological reflection, especially in the context of ministry on the estates https://www.lauriegreen.org/books/laurie%27s%20library.html
There are some very useful books on this list but most importantly of all, all of us from estates can all do theology, starting with an open heart and our experience.
From time to time it is good to stimulate ideas and our own theological reflections on living and working as communities on estates and urban areas. This is especially important at the moment when face-to-face meetings are limited due to COVID-19.
In this section of our blog we hope to signpost you to other excellent blogs by estate churches leaders and practitioners.
Our first estate church leader we’d like to introduce you to is Al Barrett, an Anglican priest and dad who has been living in Hodge Hill on the edge of East Birmingham since 2010.
Al’s blog, ‘This estate we’re in’ is a theological reflection of day-to-day life on an urban outer estate in the West midlands.
It is beautifully crafted and contains honest thoughts and feelings about our common experience, ideas for praying for the community, even if you are still unable to go out, prayers, poems, artwork from estates and extensive recommended reading where appropriate. Al also helpfully lists other really good blogs he follows which you might find useful for further ideas and future conversations.
Some of the liturgy to pray with have been composed with the aid of Ruth Harley, who is currently training for ordained ministry at the Queen’s Foundation in Birmingham, with a call to living on estates.
As a taster, have a look at Al’s recent post, Living through liminal times
This post is about living through the wilderness experience of the pandemic, the pain involved and a call to explore new possibilities in these uncertain times. We’re giving away no more spoilers on here…you will just have to check out his blog for yourself!
An exciting new stipendiary role has been created in an established mission area of three parishes serving a diverse socio-economic context.
The Diocese of Sheffield is looking for a priest with a passion for urban mission and a commitment to work creatively to meet new challenges. With Lowest Income Communities funding, they are able to make this new appointment to be based at St James Clifton, one of the most deprived parishes in the diocese, sharing with an ordained colleague in the oversight of the parish churches of Clifton, Herringthorpe and Whiston.
The successful candidate will be licensed as Priest in Charge of Clifton and Associate Priest at Herringthorpe and Whiston, and will nurture the whole people of God to realise the Diocesan strategy to be a flourishing and generous diocese that is Renewed, Released and Rejuvenated.
To view the advert please click on the link to the PDF below:
FOR AN INFORMAL CHAT, CONTACT:
Archdeacon of Sheffield & Rotherham, the Venerable Malcolm Chamberlain 07740 198806
FOR AN INFORMATION PACK VISIT:
Please send completed applications to The Archdeacon of Sheffield & Rotherham at archdeacons.office@Sheffield.anglican.org by 5:00pm on Thursday 1st October.
Interviews will take place on Thursday 22nd October .
This post is subject to a satisfactory enhanced DBS disclosure.