i love stir magazine. there are very few magazines i subscribe to but after seeing a couple of issues of stir i decided it is essential reading and i normally read it cover to cover.
it's a magazine about community economic development and transformation. what i love about it is its energy for change and alternative thinking. it's a great example of future present thinking (watch this space for news on that theme on june 4th!) or the kind of thinking that believes another world is possible. but i also love that it is informed by a very different body of knowledge and skills to what i was taught working in charities in the christian sector. the approaches and instincts fit really well and i think pioneers who get stuck into community change would find it really helpful. you can get a flavour of what it is about through the web site where lots of articles are available free. there is also a toolkit for working with your local community which has some great stuff in it. and they connect to all sorts of ideas and inspiration. for example the blog introduced me to this incredible commons transition primer. the recovery of commons in local communities is a key to the way forward in our society i think.
this area of engagement is something churches have great opportunity to be involved in. one really interesting project that i mentioned before is that stir have seen churches and their communities as assets and have piloted with some churches around helping them set up community enterprises - see here for the process. there is likely to be a conference about it in the autumn once the results of the pilot are published. this process is so similar to what we encourage pioneers to do at cms - listening, mapping the community, discerning opportunities, building stuff together with the community around it and so on - being good news. and if you are near bristol, oxford or london watch this space for a series of workshops you could get involved in. they are currently running a crowdfunding campaign to raise the money for them.