Pilgrimpace's Blog


Urban Congress 2018 – Seeking the Kingdom in the City

More than 70 people from Church of England Birmingham’s inner city and outer estate parishes gathered for the day to reflect together on our life and mission as disciples within the city.

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This year, the Congress had a very dialogical and conversational character – people spent a lot of time talking to each other in small groups, with those from the Diocese listening.  It felt very much that this was a living example of Robert Schreiter’s concept of The Community as Theologian.  We had fun, we worshipped, we ate together.  We watched these films about mission and the kingdom in some of our parishes.

St Thomas, Garretts Green

St John and St Peter, Ladywood

Hodge Hill Church

The Church and the Estates

Paula Gooder introduced some biblical images of mission for us and got us thinking hard about which most excite us in our mission.  Here are our reflections:

Go! Matthew 28: 19 – 20

– ‘go’ and ‘come’ are both encompassed in this.

– relational

– comforting

– journey through life

– who we touch

 

Seek the welfare of the city, Jeremiah 29: 7

– welfare

– shalom

 

Freedom, Luke 4: 18 – 19

– it is easier to be a giver than to receive

– the importance of being broken

– issues of Church v Kingdom

– people we know

– “difference”

– mission at home.

 

An Uncomfortable Kingdom, Luke 13: 19

– weed

– untidy

– what our church does

– plant on purpose?

– symbolic tree

– abiding place

– how do we accommodate it?

– is the Kingdom like Japanese knotweed?

 

Care for the Stranger Luke, 10: 33

– receiving help

 

Parable of the Talents, Luke 19: 12

– little brings a lot

– put it to use

 

The Ethiopian Official Acts 8: 26

– explaining scripture

– our lives challenge others

– instant results vs long journey

 

Touching Jesus’ Cloak, Luke 8

– we want more!

 

Workers in the Vineyard, Matthew 20

– God’s nature – rewarding last minute workers the same fair wage and dignity

 

Yeast and Leaven, Matthew 13

– don’t fiddle with it or you will break it

– doing things at the right time

– doing things in God’s time

 

Mary

– scared

– terrified

– obedient

 

Nativity

– turned away

– no one listened

 

Widows and Unjust Judges, Luke 18

– persistence

 

God loves the world, John 3: 16

– love for everyone

– God loves us first

 

Jesus and the Lepers, Luke 17

– tending wounds

 

Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5

– social justice

 

Sending out: Luke 10

– why I am here

– things happen

 

Chosen by God to Bear Fruit, John 15

 

Sowing Seed, Matthew 13

– not knowing what soil we have

– prodigality

– it is up to God

 

 

 

 

WHAT INSPIRES US?

– to see everyone welcomed

– our communities changing

– bringing people and communities together

– encouraging one another in mission

– looking inside – what is my purpose? what can I give?

– making Jesus accessible for all

– people coming together to share

– seeing God’s grace at work

– wanting Church to be different

– being joyful

– working with schools

– blessed are the poor

 

 

SOME OF THE ISSUES WE FACE:

– the community working together

– including young people in church

– theology and suffering – called to engage and respond

– intergenerational learning, reverse mentoring

 

 

 

WHAT IS NEEDED TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN?

– “how to” guides

– more social media

– recognising the gifts that are already there

– mentoring / small cell groups

– sustaining with prayer

– working as churches together

– calling and releasing gifts

– working with all agencies

 

Simon Heathfield responded at the end of the day:

What are the things that matter?

What is God saying?

  1. Where is God’s sweetness?

– our parish

– our identities in God – this means seeing gift before deprivation

– let’s believe God’s identity in this place

– God has given us our identity, the authentic thing God calls us to be

– “there is treasure when you find what people have to give”

– what is the treasure in your place?

 

  1. Is your Church ‘come’ or ‘go’?

– building a culture of invitation

– ‘go’ = being changed

 

  1. Messiness

– how comfortable are you with mess?

– suffering?

– mustard seed

– Jean Vanier “I am struck by how sharing our weakness and difficulties is more nourishing to others than sharing our qualities and successes.”

– the conversation today has been really positive

 

  1. Who is driving the agenda?

– where is the agency?

– the agency, the initiative, the power come from outside

– giving you the vision God has for you

 

  1. How do you deal with issues of timing that you cannot control?

– mission as not-knowing

– taking the long view



Urban Congress


Final preparations for Saturday’s Urban Congress. Very excited …

Praying for all the parishes from Church of England Birmingham who will be there



reflecting
November 15, 2017, 6:53 pm
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urban congress 2017

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I’m really excited about the 2017 Birmingham Urban Congress on Saturday 2nd December.  This is for people from inner city and outer estate parishes in Church of England Birmingham.

It is a day where we will be sharing stories of hope and holding on as we reflect on Christ’s challenge to us to stay in the city.  We have some great speakers.  The day is free, but you need to book to make sure of your place.  You can do this through your Vicar or direct at https://www.cognitoforms.com/Cofebirmingham/UrbanCongress2017

I look forward to seeing you there.



food for the journey 2
August 29, 2017, 5:29 pm
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20170712_115500

I recently posted about the daily Henri Nouwen email.

Cris has commented, reminding me that you can also get a daily meditation from Richard Rohr

https://cac.org/sign-up/

What feeds you on your journey?



the best place

​It has been wonderful recently to spend time with groups of estate clergy from around the country (reflection on this will come soon). 

I was at Belle Isle yesterday with the Estate Group from West Yorkshire. It was great to hear everyone suggesting they have the best parish in the Church and the best job.

Walking home from the station, my friend the Heron reminded me strongly that I do.

Love and prayers



life in a hidden light

There is a very beautiful little film here of my friends the Carmelite Sisters at Wolverhampton.

Click here

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