just back from taking part in the w@nder gathering in hannover, germany. this poster in the window of kirche² made me smile. kirche² had pulled the conference together. a couple of years back sandra and maria visited cms in oxford with a group from germany to find out about pioneering or at least our take on it and what we were up to. we do get quite a few visitors passing through but this was a special visit somehow. there was a real connection, resonance, and good conversation - we hit it off. so it was great to get an invite to go and be part of something with them in germany. it's an ecumenical project involved in gathering, training, incubating ideas and projects in mission in the church in germany. w@nder was a 24 hour conversation around pioneering in particular and had a mix of people involved in mission, pioneers, those in structural positions in church denominations and a mix of catholic and protestant. it was held at eisfabrik, a very cool venue in hannover. these guys (sandra and maria) have a lot of nous about mission and contextualisation always trying to imagine how things will work and make sense in particular places and cultures, not wanting to copy ideas wholesale from anywhere else, and seeking to encourage both the church and those working at the edges to see change and newness emerge. i was so impressed by both the way they are facilitating a really great conversation and the way they are able to network with people on the ground who are doing stuff. it was wonderful to be part of it and i presented on the pioneer gift in relation to the theme of wander and wonder. i hope it sparked some imagination and hopefully the conversation will be buzzing for a while and some new mission will be catalysed.
there has been quite a bit of exchange between germany and england around fresh expressions of church too over the last few years and just a couple of weeks back a new association or charity (not quite sure technically what it is) was set up in germany to encourage that endeavour.