FXCA december 2011 update
december 2012 update
December already. I am sitting down to write the last Fresh Expressions Canada update for 2011. There is a very light dusting of snow outside. Amazing! Where did those eleven months go? Some of you will be reading this update for the first time especially those who were at the various Fresh Expressions Canada related events over the past month or so. It has been a very busy few weeks, with trips to Winnipeg, for the National Church Planting Congress; to Fredericton, for a day with clergy, a Vision Day and then preaching at the Cathedral ; to Toronto for teaching in the MSM course and various meetings. Other members of the FXCA team have been hard at work making this year’s Mission Shaped Ministry happen, testing our new resource with the working title Re-Imagining Church, and designing the next Vital Church Planting East conference.
Over the past year as well as talking about being a church shaped by and for God’s mission, I have found myself saying that we need to be an increasingly Jesus-centred church in order to become more mission-shaped. This always begs the question, “Well, aren’t we?” Which I think is a very good question. Of course all Christians think that we should be, and hope that we are, Jesus-centred, but if I am honest I have to admit that the reality of my life is often far from the cherished ideal. As we approach the celebration of the incarnation, God becoming one of us, God’s “moving into the neighbourhood”, as Eugene Peterson puts it, it is salutary to compare the story of that becoming with our own lives. God the Son leaving the heavenly glories to enter life in all its messiness, where others often make decisions for us, and limitations abound. God’s Son willing to enter into our lives motivated by love. How does that contrast with the way I live my life, and what motivates my choices? Not so much “comfort and joy”, more like, ” Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith.”
So we can choose to use this time to reflect on the progress of becoming more Jesus centred, and how we ourselves are being shaped by and for God’s mission in this his rebel world. Not to beat ourselves up, but to be realistic about how far we have come and how far there is still to go. At the same time remembering that, “The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!”
“Re-Imagining Church” course undergoes testing.
This brand new course is nearly finished being road-tested and the evaluations will soon be in. If early indications are anything to go by, it could be a winner! In fact one bishop who has tested the course, is threatening to give the course in three locations next year. Watch the FXCA website for news.
Some interesting events to plan to be part of in 2012!
The Missional Roadmap
Where do we go now?
February 2-4, 2012
St. Paul’s Bloor Street, Toronto, Ontario
Everything seems set for another high quality VCP conference in early February. The speaker (Dave Male from Cambridge UK) has booked his ticket, focused and practical workshops are falling into place, and registration is up and running on the website. There is even an early bird rate of 10% off the full price if you register by the end December. Full details are on the VCP website here.
Messy Church (MC) is growing across Canada as a wonderful fresh expression that reaches families with young children. Messy Church aims to create the opportunity for adults and children to enjoy expressing their creativity, to gather together for a meal, to experience worship and to have fun within a church context – generally on a weekday evening.
Since April 2007, when Nancy Rowe started Canada’s first Messy Church at St. George’s Anglican Church in Georgetown ON, there are now Messy Churches in every province. Anglicans, Lutherans and United Church folks are learning about Messy Church through workshops and Messy Fiestas (a full day MC workshop) and there is now an ecumenical MC in Thorold Ontario with five denominations partnered together (Anglican, Presbyterian, Christian Reformed, United Church and Baptist) meeting in a local Community Centre.
The next Messy Fiesta will be held at Christ the King – Dietrich Bonhoeffer Lutheran Church in Thornhill ON on February 18th – click here for more information. For more information about Messy Church in Canada, please contact Sue Kalbfleisch at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out www.facebook.com/Messy ChurchCanada
The first Fresh Expressions Vision Day in Saskatchewan!
Regina Vision Day on Saturday February 25th 2012.
All Saints Anglican Church
142 Massey Road
Regina SK, S4S 4M9
Thanks for all your prayers, comments and encouragement throughout this past year. We greatly value them, and you!
Have a good Advent followed by a joyful celebration of Christmas!