fresh expressions canada november 2012 update
|Hi there!The Fresh Expressions Canada team is very excited about the things that have happened this October. New website design, new update design, and best of all, our first all Canadian resource is launched (see below). It is certainly an exciting time as we seek to become a church both Jesus-centred and mission-shaped! We hope that you too are excited because God is at work in God’s world, and he generously invites us to join him in it. Once again we turn our eyes to the horizon to “see what God is doing and join in!”Fresh Expressions Canada has some resources that we believe can help us hear, see and feel what God may be calling us to at this time. Please feel free to check them out, and please let me know if there are any ways we can help you. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.Have a wonderful November.
Nick on behalf of the Fresh Expressions Canada team
After a year and a half spent developing and testing this new, made in Canada, free resource, “Reimagining Church:shaped for mission” is ready to be launched!
Developed by Dr. John Bowen, Professor of Evangelism and Director of the Institute of Evangelism at Wycliffe College (University of Toronto), the five session course helps churches start the conversation around what it might mean to be a church shaped by and for God’s mission in our world. The course addresses questions such as, “How should the church respond to the changes in our culture?” and “What is the future of the church?” It is intended for those who realise that the church is facing serious challenges and who want to play a part in its re-shaping.
The first three sessions look at changes in our Canadian culture, the spiritual resources the church has to respond to the challenges, and what it means these days to be a “Christian.” Then, in the fourth session, participants explore some of the ways churches are already changing and adapting in order to be more effective. Finally, participants are asked to consider what this might mean in their own situations.
Reimagining Church involves lots of group discussion, colourful visual presentations, thought-provoking video, Bible discussion, opportunities for prayerful reflection, and refreshments.
Reimagining Church materials (teaching files, notes for the instructor, handouts, etc.) are freely downloadable from the Fresh Expressions Canada website, www.freshexpressions.ca/courses.
This may just be the most eye-opening course you will ever take . . . for free!
Mega meets Fresh!
During our visit to London earlier this year, my wife Sue and I had the opportunity to have coffee with Rachel Jordan, National Mission and Evangelism Advisor for the Church of England. During our conversation we discussed how the Fresh Expressionsmovement has come to influence the missional thinking of large, successful, attractional churches in the UK.It has often been reported that London is the hub of Anglican renewal in England. Large attractional churches, like Holy Trinity Brompton, regularly send teams out to plant churches in the Greater London Area. These ‘church plants’ grow and become successful, attractional churches in their own right, and then often send out their own planting teams. A church planting team typically consists of at least one priest/pastor and fifty or more members/families who would leave the ‘mother church’ and relocate to the church plant. This may even include team members picking up and moving from one home to another as a way to fully engage in the church planting process. Many of these church plants have adopted an evangelical and/or charismatic worship style, something that we in Canada may not be comfortable with at this point in time. Nevertheless this has resulted in many healthy, vibrant and large Anglican Churches in Greater London, and in other cities across England, becoming capable of sending out their own church planting teams.
In many cases these ‘church plants’ take on the characteristics of the sending church in worship style (evangelical and/or charismatic worship style) as well as congregational makeup. For example, if the planting team is mostly middle class, then those who are attracted to the church plant will in all likelihood be predominantly middle class. So the question has been raised, what about the existing population in these ‘church plant’ areas, people who are from different cultural, as well as socio-economic, backgrounds, who for whatever reason would never set foot in a traditional church? In most, if not all, cases, these “indigenous people” are prayed for and loved each and every Sunday. They may also be recipients of social services offered by the church; financial counseling, day care, tax preparation assistance and so on. But what about their spiritual needs, their faith nurture and their need to form community with others?
Building on the experiences of the Fresh Expressions movement, a new model seems to be emerging among such churches, where the ‘mother church’ starts to engage with the population in the surrounding community. They move from ‘loving thy neighbour’ to ‘transforming them’ through the love of Jesus. To do this, pioneer ministers (lay and/or ordained) become involved with local communities to start “fresh expressions of church,” contextualized to meet the cultural needs of those living within the parish boundaries. Over time, it is hoped satellites of faith communities led by pioneers will surround the ‘mother church’.
As with all new initiatives, resourcing becomes an issue, as churches are increasingly financially challenged. Going forward, Paul’s model of making tents to support himself while spreading the Gospel message may become a new ministry paradigm for this emerging model.
This Fall, over thirty Messy Churches have launched in Ontario and BC – we are sure that many more have started up, so be sure to let our MC Coordinator, Sue Kalbfleisch know
to get on the list. Also, stay connected with other Messy Churches by letting Sue know you wish to join up and to receive the Messy Church eNewsletter.
Thanks to Samantha Caravan at St. John’s (West Toronto) Anglican Church for hosting a Messy Fiesta in October – it was great to work with folks from United, Anglican, Lutheran and Salvation Army churches.We also had a great group at the Messy Church Workshop at the Rural Symposium in Jackson’s Point ON with many folks from a wide range of churches and from across Canada.
For information about upcoming courses, including the Messy Church workshop at the Toronto Children’s Ministry conference (Saturday, November 3rd) please visit the Messy Church Courses page.
• Toronto: Thursday January 31 to Saturday February 2
• Edmonton: Tuesday February 5 to Thursday February 7
Plenary speaker at both conferences • Bishop Graham Cray
Team Leader for Fresh Expressions UK
Click here for more details.
Imagine church for those who don’t do church
Come and explore new ways of building Christian community.
vision days are a fun and interactive way to explore new ways of being church and how to form them. So far over 6000 Christians in over 80 places in the UK and worldwide have discovered more about fresh expressions of church and have come away with a real desire to work with God and develop their dreams. You can:
to find out more or to ask about having a vision day where you live, email us at email@example.com