FXCA january update
january 2011 update
Happy New Year!
Just last Friday, members of the Fresh Expressions Canada team and some friends, met via an internet enabled audio conference call on Skype. We were in Edmonton, AB; Ancaster, Hamilton, Toronto, & Ottawa, ON; Montreal, QC; and New Wes Valley, NL! We spent two hours talking and planning for the coming year, with many great ideas to support our aim of seeing a more mission-shaped church take shape across the country.
One important topic was what do we mean by a “mission-shaped church”. We could have spent the whole two hours on that one, but one thing that emerged clearly was that to be a mission-shaped church it was necessary first to be a Jesus-centred church. Steve Croft (who incidentally will be the main speaker at both of this year’s Vital Church Planting Conferences) writes, ” We are navigating through a time of great change and to navigate well we need to rediscover Jesus Christ as the compass and centre of the Church’s life… We need as a Church to reflect the character of Jesus to our society… We are called as a Church to do what Jesus did: to build up the Christian community and to change the world. It is neither one nor the other but both… We will only have the strength to change ourselves or others if we are deeply rooted in Jesus.” (from “Jesus’ People”, London, Church House Publishing, 2009, p. ix)
At the beginning of a new year it is important to ask the questions that naturally flow from Steve’s four critical observations. To what extent is Jesus Christ the compass and centre of our church’s life? To what extent do we as a church reflect the character of Jesus to our society? Are we engaged in doing what Jesus did: building up the Christian community and changing the world? To what extent am I deeply rooted in Jesus?
The Fresh Expressions Canada team recognises the validity of these questions, and invites you to join us in answering them honestly and seeking to become more Jesus-centred and mission-shaped as the year progresses.
January is a busy month for the forty-plus students on the msm course. A regular session on Thursday the 13th plus a residential weekend Friday -Sunday 28th-30th, to take place at St. John’s Convent & Guest House, Toronto.
Presenters and organisers will be pouring over the evaluations of the participants, and then, informed by those evaluations, the FXCA team will get to work reviewing this six session course. Watch out for news of the results in the new year.
Edmonton, May 26-28; Toronto, May 31-June 2nd, both conferences will feature Steven Croft, Bishop of Sheffield and former Archbishops’ Missioner and team Leader of Fresh Expressions, as well as a Canadian speaker.
In April or May we will hold another Messy Fiesta in the Hamilton/Burlington area for both newcomers and for those who have begun their own Messy Church so watch for news in coming months.
Contemplative Fire Canada is for anyone, from the regular Church member to those who have no affiliation with a Church but might be exploring how Jesus can make a difference to their lives. Details of gatherings here.
To learn more about Contemplative Fire Niagara and to learn about future Gatherings, please visit: www.contemplativefireniagara.blogspot.com. The members of the Contemplative Fire Niagara Core Team are Stuart Pike, Jean Archbell, Suzanne Craven, Max Woolaver and Dorothy Hewlitt. Contact Stuart Pike at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Please continue to pray for all of us involved in encouraging “the development of fresh expressions of church alongside more traditional expressions, with the aim of seeing a more mission-shaped church take shape throughout the country.” Yes, it’s a huge job, but with God nothing is impossible, even though it is seldom easy!
Thanks so much for your interest and support of Fresh Expressions Canada . If you would like to support the work financially you can do so online by clicking here and filling out the form, selecting “Other,” from the “I would like to direct my gift to:” options, and writing Fresh Expressions in the “Please Specify” box.
Wishing you a Jesus-centred, as well as a very happy, New Year!
the Fresh Expressions Canada team, Ryan, Sue, Thomas, Jenny, John, Connie &…
Team Leader-Fresh Expressions Canada