missiologists getting together to reflect on mission in the emerging contexts seems like a great idea. there was a coneference in australia recently doing just that with the aims of:
- analyse the Australian context for Christian mission
- re-think God-in-Australia and the shape the Good News takes in Australian society
- take a reading on the state of mission studies in Australia and stimulate it
- build an ecumenical network of Australian missiologists
- make the fruits of the discussion widely available to the Australian church
the papers from the conference are online (but this may be just until the end of october according to prodigal kiwi). i have downloaded a few to read but let me know if you find any that are particularly good... sadly it doesn't look as though the plenary session papers are available, but they will be published in a book in the next twelve months. new colleague and friend cathy ross who has moved from new zealand to join us at cms was presenting one of these papers which was really interesting - if you want to know more she will be doing a blah... based on her paper before christmas in london - watch this space.
one of the reasons i joined cms is because i think that missiology holds a lot of clues for how we go about ministry/mission/being church etc so it's good to see a serious engagement with these issues going on. i wonder if we could do the same in the uk?...
some of the themes identified at the conference were:
_ listening before speaking
_ engaging with those around us in daily lifestyle for the sake of transformation ("incarnational mission")
_ loving people into new life
_ new ways of gathering as church
_ dialogue with those of other faiths
_ mission as conversation
_ taking the Australian context seriously
_ reconciliation between Indigenous and non-indigenous people as critical to Australia's soul
_ responding creatively to the common attitude encapsulated by the slogan "Yes to Jesus but No to the church"
_ developing a public theology and
_ re-framing our God-talk in fresh metaphors.