friday is the deadline for the missional entrepreneurship competition - don't miss it!
we had an amazing day last tuesday at the first graduation celebration of cms pioneers. four years ago we had an open day. somehow from that day a pilot group was born that began the cms pioneer training course in september 2010. i have extremely fond memories of those early weeks as we began to discover just what kind of adventure we had got ourselves into. i’m not sure any of us knew exactly what was ahead or indeed the challenge of the journey. in the four years we have run a foundation degree, a certificate, added in an m.a., and gained approval from the church of england to let us train pioneer ordinands in a partnership with ripon college cuddesdon. in that time over 80 people have done something with us by way of a module or more. and about half have done something more substantial (several modules, a university award etc.).
it is the most rewarding work i have been involved in for my entire life. more than anything i have loved the gift that is the pioneers - dreamers who do - those who follow christ’s call in mission to see and build beyond business as usual with imagination and courage. it was incredibly exciting to get to a point of celebrating our first graduation.
we gave those finishing an object to takeaway that would symbolise the journey, a unique piece of art created by sculptor iain cotton - it’s a stone landscape in which a new unique journey has been hewn to make a way where there is no way. making a way in rock is tough but the path also looks like a letter or script and I love what iain has done by playing with this notion of a new language that is found in the journey. he describes it on his write up as a speaking in tongues, a language of the spirit (which of course was a language given so people could understand in their own tongue).
thank you to everyone who has shared the journey and supported it in any way, encouraged me through the blog or in conversation. we have an amazing team, cms is a great community to host it, and i am so inspired by and grateful to all those who come and train with us. we are proud of everything they have achieved and indeed the gift of who they are.
i attended am amazing day last week with leaders from black majority churches in britain. there were some amazing presentations issuing a prophetic call to engage imaginatively in mission. during the day i doodled away to capture some of the things that struck me. i have added those doodlings to facebook...
excited to announce that cms and greenbelt are launching a missional entrepreneurship competition. get your idea in and then be ready to work it up and make a dragon's den style pitch at greenbelt festival!
migration is a big theme in mission studies and journals increasingly recognising the significance of migration flows in sharing faith. last year IAMS two issues of the mission studies journal were dedicated to reflecting on it. some of the most thriving churches in london are planted and grown by people who have moved through migration. there are all sorts of challenges and questions to explore in relation to mission and migration - it's far from straightforward. missio africanus is a day set up to explore mission in relation to the african diasporas in britain (and beyond i expect). i'll be going along - maybe see you there?..
it was good to meet some presbyterians from the usa this week including darrell guder who has written on missional church for many years and been involved in american missiology and gospel and culture networks. i actually met a similar group about a year ago sharing stories of what we are up to and how to cultivate mission at and beyond the edges of the church. there are now around 200 new church communities or mission projects under the bold vision of 1001 new communities in 10 years. roger dermody is one of the drivers behind it and was in the group.
it was lovely to meet erin dunigan and hear about not church, a community exploring faith and spirituality but seemingly started at the request of seekers and athiests. in trying to find it i googled 'not church' and found there are several communities out there who can be found under the identifier of not church!
it was also good to hear yeseterday of a new initiatiove starting in nottingham - the sunday service - a club night at rock city. sounds like the good old days of alt worship...
a week today we have an open day for the cms pioneer training. we are in the process of transitioning to being accredited by durham university and should get final confirmation of that this month. you can do modules, certificate, diploma, or an MA. it's a fantastic learning community - do come along and find out more. let us know if you are coming...
cms is the community i am a member of. 40 days of yes is another lent resource if you would like something to reflect particularly on mission. i have used it before and i am pretty certain have blogged about it before. but it's another great lent resource and mark berry will be adding a weekly reflection too... oh and it's free!
i have written a short reflection on the church growth research on the pioneer blog -
very exciting today at cms to have the possible world course being delivered. this is a new course on mission which takes a focus on prophetic mission - prophets are people who grieve over the way things are and see new possibilities against the odds and then help people create that new possible world.
it has seven sessions:
One: Jesus, a prophet. Me, a prophet?
Two: Hospitality: All right for some?
Three: Consumer culture: I want to live simply…but I like stuff
Four: The environment: For God so loved the world
Five: Human suffering: How can I show I care?
Six: Injustice: So many issues, so few of us
Seven: Now what? Joining the prophetic and the practical
a 50 page booklet which looks great and a dvd with some very inspiring pioneering people who are creating new possibilities where they are.
a colleague debbie james has been working on this for a couple of years and done a wonderful job - it's been road tested and reshaped accordingly. ideal for a church, home group, missional community, or any group that want to explore together how another world might be possible. if you are planning ahead how about using this for lent? (or advent if you're quick!).
thanks to everyone who came to the day of research presentations and conversation about pioneering mission. it was a wonderful day - really buzzing! there is a write up and some photos here. it was such a treat to have doug gay, beth keith, gerald arbuckle, anna thompson, andrea campanale, and jim barker involved. we'll be adding a few video interviews online with them and there will be a book next summer with some of the papers and some others. and we will be back with another day next year. to be honest i am still on something of a high. next week i'm off here - tough life eh?!
organisations who kill their rebels gain peace but lose their future
so said gerald arbuckle at yesterday's day on pioneering mission. it was such a great day! thanks to everyone who came and who presented. as we said we will be publishing the papers and a series of others in a book some time next year. and we will be back with another day next year...
i stumbled across an article by graham cray on not knowing the end at the beginning which i rather liked. it probably didn't tell me a lot i didn't know but there is so much anxiety in the church about wanting to know outcomes and results (often in a short space of time) that this sense of not having a blueprint as people pioneer into the future really needs re-iterating. i also like the naming of the tension between contextual approaches to mission and being rooted in a living tradition. see what you think...
it's from the journal of mission practice which has had two issues so far online. this article by babatunde adedibu and this response on mission and black majority churches opens up some extremely interesting themes in mission in britain today.
not sure where the time goes but september's upload on proost was a wonderful resource which i meant to blog at the time but it's now october and i haven't got round to it until now! how did that happen? anyway...
come and see is a guide for beginning and sustaining a missional venture downloadable as a pdf. it's written by ian adams and contains 20 steps, all restricted to one page alongside ian's photography. it's simple, clear and you feel when you read it that anyone could start one. it's the kind of thing that's ideal to discuss round the meal table for a newly formed group distilling down what it is they are about and how to function together as a community. pick a step a week...
proost willbe creating a collection of resources for pioneers - last month's news was in praise of pioneers
i know i will get some stick from those who accuse me of being in gerald arbuckle's fan club but i am excited to say he happens to be in oxford when we are hosting our first ever conversations on pioneering day and has agreed to present on the subject of dissent!
the day is on november 12. pioneering mission and ministry is relatively new language of late in the church as the term pioneer ministry was introduced after the mission shaped church report less than ten years ago in the church of england at least (and of course it's extremely old as a practice and gift in other ways!) and whilst space has been created for it, it is still very early days. so we are keen to encourage reflection and conversation on what is happening. this day is part of that and we intend to make it an annual day of conversations, reflections and research. we have seven people who we have invited to present their reflections or research for this first one - three by way of a plenary session and four in workshops. the plenary sessions are presented by doug gay, liz sercombe and gerald arbuckle, and workshops by beth keith, jim barker, andrea campanale and anna thompson. details are on this flyer (see below) and on this page. the day costs £15. you can book here.
if you are interested download a copy of the annual report for the cms pioneer training course i lead. the idea of an annual report may not sound that exciting but I really like writing it as it's a chance to look back and reflect. it's now 3 years since we started which is hard to believe. it's been both hard work and fantastic in equal measure. people say that it takes 3 years for a start up to get established so i think we have made it - it feels like it. we have a new year of students starting the week after next. at this point we have 13 or 14 new who will be doing either an MA or Foundation Degree - which is a really nice number. the will be joining the other two year groups and on top of that we will have people doing individual modules. it never seems to stand still...
if any of you reading are pioneering, into mission, or whatever way you want to describe it, check out what we are doing. a couple of good ways in are ReSource weekends , and we also have a day in november conversations on pioneering presenting research around pioneering mission with a number of speakers that is going to be a really good day. i will blog about that separately in the next couple of weeks.
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