Fresh Expressions Canada October 2012 update
It’s been far too long since I wrote one of these updates. My apologies! Summer is often a time for travelling and I’ve been doing a little myself recently.
The recent Break Out Pioneer Gathering, in Swanwick, England, last month, drew pioneering people from a range of denominations, Anglican, Methodist, Salvation Army, United Reform Church, Baptist, as well as a from range of countries, England mainly, but also Scotland, Wales, Australia and Canada. All of us were actively involved in pioneering ministries, either in frontline work, or in support, training, and resourcing roles.
The thing that brought us together was a passion for seeing Christians connecting with those with no existing church connection. The unifying factor was a shared commitment to engaging with God’s mission in a variety of very different contexts. The event gave me a window on what seems to be happening not just in Britain but in Canada and throughout the world too. Our shared commitment to God’s mission, seems to be more important than which denomination we are a member of.
I had already experienced something of this when we planted the emerge community in Montreal in the first decade of this century. Collegial support and fellowship came principally from a disparate group of fellow church planters from an assortment of denominations. In this increasingly post- Christendom environment it seems that denominational difference is becoming less of a barrier to cooperation in God’s mission. As some of God’s people we have a mixture of experience, resources, insights that can help in the work we have been called to do. We have much to learn from other members of the body of Christ, but also something to share. As we enter further into to this challenging era, we will need to find ways to support and encourage one another locally, regionally and nationally, irrespective of our differing denominational affiliations. Doing this I believe will lead us to become a more Jesus-centred and mission-shaped church from coast, to coast, to coast.
A new resource from Fresh Expressions Canada
Re-imagining Church: shaped for mission is a freely downloadably, five session course for those who know something is wrong and want to understand what can be done about it. Sessions look at changes in our culture, the spiritual resources the church has to respond to the challenges, and what it means these days to be a “Christian.” Then participants explore some of the ways churches are already changing and adapting in order to be more effective. Finally, we consider what this might mean in our own situations.
The course has been rigorously road-tested, in a variety of locations across the country, by a variety of people, including three bishops! The course will be available for free download soon. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Reimagining Church: shaped for mission is a Wycliffe College Institute of Evangelism Resource ©2012
- Trinity Anglican Church, Simcoe ON – meet third Thursday each month
- St Paul’s Anglican Church, South Porcupine ON
- Brigden United Church in Brigden ON – first MC Sept 25th
- The Anglican Church of St. Timothy, North Toronto – first Messy Church on October 19th
We had hoped to be able to offer the mission shaped ministry course in two distinct modes this fall. Unfortunately due to low registration the classroom course to be held at Wycliffe College, TO, has had to be cancelled. We hope to be able to offer an entirely online course to be called, appropriately enough, MSM online! Running this course again depends on registrations. So if you are interested in participating in the online course please email email@example.com
The mission shaped ministry course takes participants on a learning journey as part of a supportive community, training them for ministry in fresh expressions of church.
Two cities: two conferences
A main speaker at both conferences will be Bishop Graham Cray, Team Leader for Fresh Expressions UK
Vital Church Planting Toronto: Thursday January 31 to Saturday February 2
Vital Church Edmonton: Tuesday February 5 to Thursday February 7
That’s about it for now! Check our website www.freshexpressions.ca for the latest news.
Please keep us in your prayers.
team leader on behalf of the Fresh Expressions Canada team