Winchester Diocesan Synod Update

Diocese of Winchester

Here are my notes from the Diocesan Synod Fish and Chip Supper last night which shared an update on the Winchester Diocese vision.

Colin – Overview of the Resource Pack

The Conference was great but how do we engage all those who weren’t there – the 30,000 who attend our churches each week.

Post-Conference Resource Pack

Handed over to Luther Pendragon (Ben, Adam and Paul) looking at what we want the resource pack to do.

  • We want as many people as possible to engage with the material and input from the Conference.
  • Provide a permament record of the context in which our Strategic Priorities were discerned.
  • Inspire people across the Diocese to engage with the vision of “Living the Minssion of Jesus”.

Want to capture the conference in as many ways as possible, looking professional on a tight budget:

  • A DVD showing the videos from Diocesan Synod
  • Audio podcasts of all presentations to be played from the CD-ROM along with the slide presentations – done with small groups etc. in mind.

Couple of warnings

  • This is one element of how we take things forward.
  • It is a tool – the tool needs to be used – we are asking you to be a champion of this in your deanery and parish.

Every Parish will receive at least one pack in the next two weeks.

 

Bishop Tim

Read from The Great Commission.

When he was a Principal of a Theological College in Nairobi, reopening the college, a young lad sat in his office saying the Lord had told him to come to this college, as a refugee with no money walking around Nairobi, this is where God had called him!  Bishop Tim had many offers like that, but something in him met Bishop Tim’s spirit – so he said yes, and saw great ministry between tribes of refugees.

That call is still there for us.  Matthew focuses on Emmanuel – God with us – at the beginning, write at the end he focuses on God being with us to the end of the earth.  To live with Jesus, to obey that command, to show that baptism means something, what it means to be human, to love, to see the world transformed.

We’ve had the most extraordinary opportunity to be together at the Conference, we’ve done the mountaintop experience, but many are now back at the coal face of reality.  Going to trust Jesus, as we gather together we heard the Spirit speaking to us and now we can begin to look at the practicalities, we can re-imagine the church, re-imagine the diocese to become a mission shaped diocese, to transform society – we have great resources amongst us if we are committed to sacrificial living – we will see generosity bring hope.

To bring these four strategies to reality we need leadership, +Peter and +Jonathan help do this in the Northern and Southern Archdeaconries looking at the Archdeacon, Deanery and Parish levels.  Asking how do we work that out in this context?  We have with the Bishop’s Staff Team to offer the service and leadership that will make a difference at this time.

Written to all Area Deans, Assistant Deans and Lay Chairs looking at the process of how Mission Action Plans will come into being.  One area of detail that will need to be discussed and work together is how the Mission Action Plans will work.  It will not be possible to opt out of these.  SOmeone who will help us with this is the new Archdeacon for Mission role, 1% of the Church of England Clergy have enquired about this role!

Very excited, sense we are so much on the edge of what will happen.  There are challenges but the Lord will be with us, we will go forward and we will see great things happening amongst us.

Questions & Comments

When will we see the Rule of Life, PCC is interested in what that will look like?  Agree Mission Action Plans and Diocesan Rule of Life by Advent next year.  This gives us time to discover what a rule of life is, and what the history of rule of life in our Diocese is.  The Professor of Ecclesiastical History from Oxford is coming to give the Bishop Lectures, if ordained you will be invited, others come along, we’re in the town hall.  It will not make you holy, but if it represents holiness, it will remind you of how to live your life for God and others.  Hope to have a hint in the way the Lent Course is being put together.

How will we maintain Priests in Parishes alongside the 3Ps.  The Ps are dimensions, not priorities, so we need to learn the difference between vision, outcomes, and plans.  This will come into the plan where we look at how mixed economy is worked out in a practical level.  The dimensions are much bigger than priest and parish.  It is a strategic priority worked out practically.  Believe in the ordained church, believe in parishes, but also believe in doing things in different ways as our founders the Benedictines did.

Mission Action Planning – how do we make the process work instead of just being a Mission Wish List.  Need to develop a mission model, there are many out there, start by reading Mark Chew and Mark Ireland, How to do Mission Action Planning, and then have to agree our own model.  Will propose a model in December that we will back for the whole diocese.  It isn’t just for us, but the generations coming behind us who we need to be faithful for, to release and enable them.

Pete Maidment – The Lent Course 2014

Pleased to share some of what the Lent Course 2014 might look like.  Offering 6 sessions of material, to help you and your congregations to engage with our four strategic priorities.

  • Session 1 Living the Mission of Jesus – what does the kingom of God look like
  • Session 2-5: The Four Strategic Priorities
  • Session 6: Working towards A Rule of Life

A time of going deeper, exploring what does it mean to go deeper.

Overall aim, strategy or outcome: People in the Diocese of Winchester will have a good understanding of the four strategic priorities and how they can transform personal spirituality, churches and communities.

Some further outcomes

  • A renewed passion for Jesus living out his mission
  • A deepened sense of community and commitment to one another
  • A marked increase in commitment in discipleship
  • Steps taken towards creating a Diocesan rule of life

Asking Andy and Pete to head this up means it is a course for everyone.  Not just for adults in home groups, so children’s groups, youth groups, adult groups (home groups, lent course groups, men’s nights in pubs, women in pubs, mums in toddler groups!), sermon material – using lectionary readings to link with sermons, and Messy Church outline.

Core Material

  • Core material that all groups will have, regardless of background:
  • Learning outcome – every group will have the same aim
  • Introduction – same background reading material
  • Scriptural texts – same bible stories
  • Questions for discussion – the same questions for discussion
  • Prayer – corporate prayer

Enabling people to talk as families and communities.

Additional material

  • Liturgy
  • Worship
  • Cultural reference points- music, movies, literature, poetry
  • Spirituality links – helping people using it in their own prayer time
  • Website – people to use in their own ways

Training

Will be training people in January and February to both Archdeaconries, both Channel Islands, course specific but giving transferable skills e.g. for youth work.

Sample material

FInal material will be edited and designed.  Do share feedback to Pete and Andy.

 

Do you trust us?  Trust us to deliver, commit some time this Lent to share in this journey.

 

Winchester Diocesan Synod Conference 2013

Diocese of Winchester

This last week I was privileged to join with 200 other Diocesan Synod members and guests at the Winchester Diocese Synod Conference at The Hayes.  God did some truly amazing things as we talked, prayed, worshiped and listened together – uniting such a diverse group of people around four priorities for the next three to five years is no small miracle.

Below are the links to all my live-blog posts from the different sessions:

Please remember all of these blogs were written live and so won’t always be 100% accurate, and may contain typos and spelling mistakes. For further information about the Diocesan Synod Conference check out the Diocese of Winchester website.

Winchester Diocesan Synod Conference 2013 – Session 16

Diocese of Winchester

Bishop Tim’s sermon from our concluding Holy Communion together, as usual this is a live blog, apologies for any typos or spelling mistakes:

This is the day, two years ago, that my announcement was made.  It is fantastic to see where we’ve come from in the last two years.

Wanted to speak on John 20 before +Tom spoke on it a few days ago.  Focussing on peace and receive the Spirit.  We miss these when focussing on the “as the Father so I”.  Chaplain to the Garter – an extraordinary privilege to do it – when we gather for Ordinary of the Garter – play a small role in the service – with a particular reading the same one every time – Ephesians 6:1-20.  Reading the passage, “having shod your feet for the preparation of the gospel of peace” and the Lord spoke to +Tim.  Stopped, didn’t know for how long, in front of his majesty the Queen!  It’s all about peace is what he heard God say.  Carried on reading but didn’t know what happened, or where he stopped!

Reflecting on peace, exploring the significance of it.  Took that emotional moment to go deeper and bring home some things.  The outcome of mission is peace – that’s what it is all about – longing to see as something we will all commend ourselves to.  That longing and hope that we have that all things will be put right, that creativity will be fulfilled.  Nothing less than +Tom spoke about – a longing for recreation – for when creation will be full of the glory of God.

It is the first day of the recreation when Jesus greets his disciples.   We think of his words as a normal greeting, but he returns to it a second time, I’m not just greeting you in the normal way, but the peace I can now give you because of who I am, and what’s happened through the resurrection.  He is the peace and it is in that vain the Father sent him.

It is that great eschatological hope we can share with everyone we meet – the peace in Jesus.  Don’t forget what Jesus also says – “don’t let your hearts be troubled”.

It is very clear the forgiveness he is talking about is the reconciliation with God – we need to share it with others so that they share it with others around that.

Athelston and his vision of understanding Jesus as the risen Lord is something we could begin to focus on.  It is the offer to enter into peace when he says “receive the Spirit”.  It is almost a pleading with the disciples.  The Spirit of the mission of the Farher and the Son – the Spirit who animated Jesus in His mission – the very Spirit of Mission.

It is the same greeting of peace that Jesus ives Thomas after he has put his hand in Jesus’s side.  The sense of another comforter is something we can receive.  Jesus is the first comforter, the first divine missionary who can make peace possible, and now he says there is another comforter coming.  The Missionary Spirit who works in Jesus can work in us.

Jesus did it through the way of the prophet – comforting and challenging.  Jesus was constantly comforting and challenging to bring the peace about.  We will enter into this way of comfort and challenge – parakleis – the way of life – the fourth P!  A way of life for us of comforting and challenging.  Jesus is the prophet greater than Moses whose historical mission reveals God’s mission and whose risen mission reveals his mission in us.  He calls us into this life of comfort and challenge that there might be peace.  Receive the Spirt, live the mission of Jesus, bring the comfort and challenge so that the ultimate peace might be in this world.

Winchester Diocesan Synod Conference 2013 – Session 15

Diocese of Winchester

This is the “Strategy Three and where next” session led by Jill Garrett.  As normal this is a live blog so apologies for any typos/spelling mistakes.

 

Agreeing our priorities

It is the role of Synod to agree the direction of travel for the diocese in response to the Vision offered by +Tim – Living the Mission of Jesus.

This has been a long and well debated motion in terms of person hours.

 

Under God, delighting in His grace and rooted in the Diocesan rule of life, we will be a Diocese in which:

  1. We grow authentic disciples, going out as individuals passionately, confidently, and courageously sharing their faith and coming together as creative church communities of prayer and worship that live out kingdom values.
  2. we re-imagine the Church intentionally connecting and engaging with our local communities in culturally relevant ways.  We will rejoice in the richness of the “mixed economy” of all ministry and proactively promote vibrant parochial and breathe-taking pioneering ministries amongst “missing” generations, e.g. children, young people, under 35s.
  3. We are agents of social transformation using our influence as a Diocese to transform public and personal life.  We will demonstrate loving faith at work in local communities and across the globe bringing healing, restoration and reconciliation.  E.g. through Education, Social Enterprise, Health Care, Spiritual Care Teams.
  4. We belong together in Christ, practicing sacrificial living and good stewardship of all that God has entrusted to us.  We will combine radical generosity, care and capacity building with a clear focus on directing finance into the mission of Jesus.  Sharing and multiplying local good practice, using people, buildings and other resources wisely we will seek to boldly prune, plant and invest in building for the Kingdom.

 

These priorities are Diocesan priorities and need to go to:

NAT – Northern Archdeaconry Team / SAT – Southern Archdeaconry Team /CIT – Channel Islands Team – who will create goals and tactics.  But at every level the Diocesan Strategic Priorities are almost virally going out you will see things looking different in the Deaneries’ Goals and Tactics and the Parishes’ Goals and Tactics.  Our direction of travel is the same.

 

How will this happen?

How many people have had their expectations surpassed by this conference?  We trusted them to produce a conference and they surpassed our expectations.  We have to trust the Bishop’s Staff Team to resource these priorities, with a proper launch event with dinner and resources so you go back equipped, able to continue dialogue and more.  This viral infection will only happen if you are enthused and able to enthuse others – enthusing and helping them to understand.

A lot of the things that aren’t in the words is about the pictures, the examples, the model, how the finance will work – what do you want in any launch programme?

Write on a post-it note what you want to see happen?

It will only work if it is carried through the people of God.

 

Been to the top of the mountain, we’ve had some amazing experiences with God, where does it go from here.  +Peter suggested: Hebrews 11:1 – a Diocese that is transformed and begins to transform other dioceses, the Church of England, our nation and the globe.  We ordinary human beings but we are filled with the spirit of God.  Hebrews 12:1-2 – fixing our eyes on Jesus.

 

+Tim proposed the motion: This Synod, adopts the Strategic Priorities as developed by the Diocesan Conference.

 

MOTION CARRIED.

 

A time of sharing what has this Conference meant for you, challenged for you, broadened your thoughts, destroyed some views:

  • Pat: Privilege of being a deaf person included and welcomed in this Conference.
  • Robert: How the hell do I share this with my Parish.  But so much bigger, vibrant than anything I or my church could imagine.
  • Ian: Had the job of Chairing the Synod in 2009 which cut the Chaplaincies and other ministries.  Sure we will look again at the funding of Universities, Colleges but also with deaf people.
  • Peter Salisbury: one of the things that has happened is people have been praying from afar.  In Lymington have Lyfe groups, they were studying Luke 5:1-11 – put out into deep water – a bravery of the decisions to be made.
  • Young people: Truly inspirational to hear so many diverse theological backgrounds find some commonality under the Spirit, go back to his College more proud than ever before to be part of the Church of England.  //  Absolutely fantastic to hear the things we’ve been praying for months, easy on the coal face to get a negative view of the diocese in the sky, so encouraging to hear all these people on board with a passion for mission and transforming communities.  //  What’s really struck me is +Tom opening up what the Bible says about us, it’s all about these huge things, these huge men and women of God – so earth shakingly big.  We think we’re very normal and it’s been incredible to think about being the Temple and the water running through the villages of Hampshire.  Excited about what God will do with that faith and vision.  //  Spent a lot of yesterday crying, awe inspired by what the Synod put before us, excited about what will happen, got one more year of training, but I will trust you with it for the next 9 months and look forward to joining you.
  • Richard: Aged 65 retired, and a year later hear.  Bowled over, became a Christian late in life, became a missionary, seen the words of the mission God, in Weston in the big housing estate, never believed he would see it through the Diocese.  Jon Oliver told us the story of the friends taking the lame man to Jesus, and he asked “who are you?”  I think I’m the main part, oh no the other one, not Jesus.  We all laughed.  There’s something very deep, loved the way Jon didn’t point the finger at the scribes, realised also in the crowd, but the biggest joke is I am the main part, oh no I’m not Jesus, you are the main part, you will do greater things than I have done.  Can we not say the Spirit of the Lord is upon us?
  • Bob Keys: got excited when coming, people said the Bishops Staff Team had stitched it, but it was clear that the BST had some things, but it was Synod’s strategy, and people asking to approve things, developing accountability for the BST.  It is your church, and it is great that Synod has had courage to take responsibility.  The need for it to be bottom up, not top down.  The importance of going away, seeing how those things work out, but they won’t be the same everywhere, e.g. Basingstoke, Southampton, Guernsey have permission to see how that works out and celebrate how that will look different in different places.

Winchester Diocesan Synod Conference 2013 – Session 14

Diocese of Winchester

The 14th session of the Diocesan Conference is entitled “Mission, ministry and discipleship review” and is led by Caroline Baston.  This is a live blog – apologies for any spelling mistakes and/or typos.

Caroline Baston has chaired a complex review asking serious questions, suffering from ill health couldn’t make the drive up here, so Tim Sledge has agreed to present the findings.

Want to focus on some of the themes as we look at a new direction of travel.  Want to be very clear – the report has done an awful lot of research, asked various surveys, obtained lots of statistics, large number of interviews and discussion with the Mission, Ministry and Discipleship department.  Had a huge number of changes, been asked lots of questions, and yet delivered consistently.  They;ve been unsettling times, and have taken a long time, as we seek to change direction of travel rather than quick changes.

During the process started every meeting with prayer.  More than a quick nod to God during oepning of bags, but led some themes of being on the threshold, trail blazing God.

On the Threshold

We have lots of new things happening, but this threshold demands an urgent change.  Linda Woodhead spoke at a conference on the latest statistics from the census, which makes for sober reading.  She had never come across an organisation of the church for a collective ability to ignore the facts.  Especially important is what is happening the younger groups and how they see the church as irrelevant.

If you use a SatNav your destination is the first thing you think of and the last place you get to.  That’s the vision that’s laid out, the values, and how we tick is that destination.  Then it programmes and works out where you are.  On holiday in Ireland a few years ago, got utterly lost, asked for directions to Shannon.  He was told “well now, I wouldn’t be starting from here” but here is where we are.  That is where the direction of travel will be set, and how the resourcing of travel will be.

Usual Sunday attendance has a downward trend from 2006 over 22k to 2011 over 20k.  Confirmations again on a downward cycle.  Funerals are a signifcant opporunity, and again a large downward trend.  This is not unique to Winchester, but the Church.  Age profiles of Clergy and SSM and Readers are very high.

Trailblazer God

English people with no French language trying to order coffee and cake – which the waitress didn’t understand so they shout louder again and again.  The different languages we are speaking don’t get any easier if you shout louder.

The typical Christian is a young black women – we have an awful long way to go to catch up understanding the world.  Not just new ways of reading the map.  The M1 is littered with distribution centres, and the motorway is clogged with lorries, too often we’ve been warehouses and we need to become distribution centres close to information highways.

You listen to things, you thiink it is amazing, the hairs go on the back of your neck, but how do I explain it, bottle the enthusiasm and explain to my parish?  My diary is rammed, how am I going to do this – how can I integrate this?  How do we go back and prepare for revival?  This department will be one of the most critical parts of it.

Previously was a Diocesan Missioner, thought the job was to do Mission and Evangelism, but after a year realised not spending much time with non-Christians.  Was worried he wasn’t supposed to be doing that.  Your job is to convert the church is what he heard God say.  Convert the church to a mission and evangelism agenda.  So many fantastic opportunities.

Abiding by Ben Quashi refers on p. 155 to Shechinah showing God as trailblazer leading the way for the camp.  Re-Pitching The Tent by Richard Joys is worth reading.  We want to showcase all that is of excellence in Cathedral and Big Top.

Global church needs an understanding of

  • doing local mission with global awareness
  • participating in global mission
  • learning from the global church internationally
  • receiving the global church locally

Media and communication is critical.  How our lobbying voice can be a support and challenge to politicians with partnership for the Anglican voice.  How do we liaise with our church schools – our other congregation – whether or not they are church schools or not.  Doing more to develop diocesan global partnerships.

Transforming God

The Transforming Nature of God, remembering how much has been done, remembring St. John the Divine through the programme Call the Midwife – it was prophetic work.  In terms of our ministry and faith devlopment how about every church being ready for birth, for life to be born there.  The Clapham Sect leading to the CMS and now Divine Chocolate as a reminder, personally was hoping for rose petals and someone to rub him down late at night!  The Trussell Trust and the amazing work they are doing.

What needs transforming?  We need to be there to hold the hand of those who are utterly terrified of this.  The SatNav if you go wrong, if you take a detour, will help get you back on course.  We need people on the team who help recalculate the journey or give encouragement when on the right road.

The specific task is the conversion to the new route of travel.  To help define with us the strategic vision, to encourage and resource the discipling of people.  So key recommendations are about blending the best of old and new with the disicpleship of all people at every stage of faith.

Mind the Gap

Bishop Tom spoke about the beatitudes.  Robert Warren wrote a great book about the beatitutdes and said those who mourn in the Greek is those who mind the gap – those who mind about those who weep, who have pain.

Recommendations

  • Team Leader/Third Archdeacon – in place to do the evaluation, the work and how.  Archdeacon should not get caught up in systems and structures, but create them to enable mission in and through the diocese.
  • Design and delivery of framework – how are we going to travel with people on the route map.
  • Vocation of all – royal priesthood – all called to the challenge of this task.
  • Support of the new
  • Pioneering for all and not for the few – James’ DVD shows a mixed economy – a blend of tradition and pioneering with permission and freedom to fail.

Were 67 recommendations in total in the detailed report on the website.

Motion

  1. Approves the direction of travel as set out in the summary of the mission, ministry and discipleship review.
  2. Approves the creation of an Archdeacon for Mission Development, to be responsible for those areas of work summarised in the report.
  3. Requests the Bishop’s Council to continue to work through more detailed recommendations in developing a new mission and ministry strategy.

 

Questions for review

  • What excites you about this?
  • What do you think is missing?
  • Where is God calling you to contribute/participate in this?
  • What resources do we/I need “on the ground” as we travel in this direction?

 

Discussion

  • Why an ArchDeacon as we have mirrored clergy-lay?
  • +Tom Wright’s teaching and preaching has been enormously powerful, we can’t see that input into church life in the document.
  • Ethnic diversity is lacking at this conference, and so want to see a focus on that?
  • Have the group considered the growth of the London 2020 vision and how we can learn lessons from?
  • Does this person need to be ordained?
  • Can we approve one element but not another?
  • A commitment to excellence – delivering excellence if asking people to attend training etc., more individually centred flexibility to enable
  • How is this going to be funded?
  • The laity could be harnessed but this language needs to link with them.

Bishop Tim’s response: ArchDeacons carry some responsibilities that allow them to do things that others can’t do.  This is an essential part of how the church works – showing how important we see it is.  More significant to have ArchDeacon than to have a Director.  An ArchDeacon will be listened to in a way that others quite frankly won’t.  An ArchDeacon globally carries weight and is able to open the doors.

MOTION CARRIED

Winchester Diocesan Synod Conference 2013 – Session 13

Diocese of Winchester

As a Bishop held responsible for the money, the mission and the response.

The board of Finance are held responsible if it goes pear shaped, but the Synod is responsible for the total amount of expenditure – not the detail of the budget.

How does the money work for us:

Average parish spends

  • 15.88% on Capital Expenditure
  • 5.07% on Charitable Giving
  • 40.09% on Parish Share
  • 25.30% on Other Running Costs
  • 13.65% on Salaries and Expenses

A three year budget allows a little wiggle room for carrying forward and altering the order of priorities.

Diocesan Expenditure

  • 80% on Mission Development
  • 12% on Mission Support
  • 8% on National Church’s mission

Diocesan Income

  • 84% Parish Share
  • 8% Fees from occasional offices
  • 2% Rental Income
  • 1% Professional Fees
  • 1% Old Aresford Place
  • 4% General Income

This shows how critical the Parish Share is to us.

Mission Development

88% is focussed on clergy stipend and housing.  Other areas are all ways in which we do mission, different ways.

Mission Support

Central support is people in the Diocesan Office and the Diocesan Office is how you run the plant.

National Church’s mission support

All agreed by the General Synod – major changes to ensure we now get good value, and impressed by the delivery.  Rachel is someone we pay for through this.  That’s what we pay for.  The only commitment for Mission Agency/Mission Socieities the rest is how they gain though freewill – we have many other ways we can increase our freewill.

That this Synod authorises the Diocesan Board of Finance to expend the sum of £39,722,000 of which £33,478,000 to be generated from parish share in 2014-2016.  The Bishop’s Council is requested to explore opportunities to generate additional sources of income which it may use to support the Synod’s emerging strategic priorities.

Questions and Discussion

Given in 2014 we are £200k under how confident is the Bishop in reaching this.

Since 2010 no increase in total Parish Share, very sad if it was to be cut any further.  The 1.8% increase from Deaneries is looking like it will not be managed.  If there is a shortfall in 2014, there might be higher increases than the 1.8% for future years.

2014 budget has a £100k contingency, who has the authority to spend it and is it carried forward.

With the £100k reserve, and the £200k shortfall is there a reserve from which this can be resolved or is it a future black hole.

Bishop’s answers:

£200k is a short-fall but we’re asking if we can give more, it is not a lot in this Diocese.

This is real back-to-basics, and we’re beginning to cut into the bones in quite an uncomfortable way.  Hopefully as we work through the Parish Share proposals we could see a difference.  People will want to give money to a vision.

Contingency money goes ups and downs with cuts you can make along the way – to help smooth the expenditure.

We have no real reserves as the Crown took it, Lincoln gets £4mm a year from its investments.

 

MOTION CARRIED

Winchester Diocesan Synod Conference 2013 – Session 12

Diocese of Winchester

Truly, Madly, Deeply, The Joy of Money

Why this particular subject in this particular way?

Do you have a washing machine issue that comes up from time-to-time that just goes round and round and never goes anywhere.  It comes to the same point as the last 150 times you spoke about it.  Winchester is not alone in the financial discussions.  Dioceses find their conversation collapsing into detail with discussion ending up around my church having to struggle with a bigger financial target is not fair, and anything that lowers the target is fair.  We have drowned in this since we were born – there is no outcome if we do things this way.

A sense of dis-satisfaction around parish share, but wouldn’t do work on Parish Share until we’d done theology, moving to God’s purposes for us and for God’s world.  To approach the patterns of Christian discipleship to enable us to grow in this area.

Beginning next month a group will commence on a new system for Parishes to be able to share mutual expectations of each other to financially support the misison.  The group will be equipped with a theological understanding of generosity in light of the overflowing generosity of God.  They will have your responses to the questions from yesterday looking within the bigger picture instead of starting from Parish Share perspective.

Responses gave some clear views.

  • Our giving to God’s mission through the Church is more about enabling the growth of God’s Kindgom and our own growth as disciples than it is about paying for the costs of running the church?  There is a false dichotomy of course, but accepted the clear conviction that God calls us to generosity to release us, to free us, 93% Synod Members and 97% Guests agree.
  • It’s great if the Church can be involved in all kinds of creative mission, but frankly, money raised from parishes should go back to parishes.  Answer suggests funds raised from generosity of parishes to fund areas of opportunity even if that is not the parish that gave or even no parish and 77% Synod Members and 89% of Guests agree.
  • 82% Synod Members and 81% of Guests believe that those who have the most materially should seek the proportion to give more.  The question doesn’t say how to be assessed.
  • A church that gives a lot to fund mission in the Diocese should expect to get a lot back too.  The outcome disagrees – the responsibility to others goes before yourself 90% Synod Members and 88% Guests agree.
  • Those that have little should give little: 86% Synod Members and 88% Guests agree
  • 78% Synod Members and 76% Synod Members want proportionality to be based on congregations rather than community – not easy to do.

 

Not about funding a budget but becoming most truly what God intended for you to be and releasing God’s mission for the world.

 

 

Question and Discussion

Question 4 interpretation seems to be confused.  //  But people said it should not be based on locality but on the congregation.

Surveys can be highly misleading in those questions – interesting to compare the answers when receiving a particular model from the group.

Whilst it needs to be thought under generosity, it also needs to be fair, transparent and easy to understand.  //  But the issue is a washing machine cycle, we’re on the principle of the motion.  God asks you to live with less and face more than those who are not his disciples.  He doesn’t say come to me and I will be fair, he says I will take up my cross.

How long will the timescale take?  //  An interim report in 3 months, how long then for the final motion not sure but certainly months not years.

Will you be looking at other dioceses, and if so is there one that has a good model to follow?  //  Done preliminary work, looked at across other dioceses and the thought which has already been done in this diocese.  Not yet found a Diocese which truly, doggedly and at every step takes it out of the washing machine and makes it about faith.

 

MOTION CARRIED!

Winchester Diocesan Synod Conference 2013 – Session 11

Diocese of Winchester

Session 11 is entitled “Rule for Life – Part Two” led by Bishop Tim Dakin.  This is a live blog – apologies for any spelling mistakes and/or typos.

Propose a motion, discuss the motion and vote on it.  The Bishop, as President, does not need a seconder!  We journey far together with those who aren’t members of Synod, so those who aren’t Synod members please do join in the conversation, but do resist voting as it is a statutory process.

 

A Rule for Life: Ground of Purpose, Vision and Mission

Having the ground for the purpose, the role and the mission.  Having a rule of life helps us to do anything else.  Had a rule of life, and this has been an important part of his journey through para, non and other ministries.

This Synod approves the principle of adopting a Diocesan Rule of Life, and requests the Bishop and his Staff to produce a final version for use across the parishes and communities of the diocese.

Won’t focus on what content, but on why it is so important.

 

A Rule for a Mission Spirituality

Attempts to provide shape and content from a Christian perspective.  David Ford, A Shape For Living, is due to be re-published again.

Steven Bevans says it is “like a reservoir tapping into the infinite life – giving, refreshing and empowering presence of God’s Spirit.”  A liberating, opening up of what life might look like.  A “Mission Spirituality is for women and men who want to grow and thrive in their identity as people who consciously participate in the mission of the triune God, moving beyond their own zones of security in terms of culture etc.” (Bevans)

Worship and prayer have to be the start of any priority or anything else, and this is where they exist.  A Rule grounds us in a prayer life with God in Christ.  It draws together our common mission heritage, expresses our common life, and resources our common purpose.  We had our own English Benedictine Movement:

  • Committed to engaging with national life
  • Committed to engagign with culture
  • Commitment to cross-cultural mission – e.g. sending Boniface to Europe.

It would be good in our diversity to find one another through our common life in this common rule.  Crossing diversity, and our understandings on how to do mission, even if we have different ways of doing it, it will still be powerful.

Resources and the purpose.  A rule of life picks up on the deep purpose of who we know we are as people living the mission of Jesus.

It is the basis for a Mission-Shaped Diocese: for its evangelization of not just here but the wider world, engagement with culture and national life, structures – we’ve got ourselves in a mess over parochial, pioneering, fresh expressions and more – we need structures that will be complimentary for one another; resourcing – Spiritual resourcing that means we are prepared to be resource people.

Three elements of Benedictine Rule of Life

  • Practices: Listening, stability, humility, hospitality, conversion, work, community;
  • Regular: weekly, monthly, yearly – going on retreat, visiting a Spiritual Director, giving your cat a holiday;
  • Relational – all the way across.

 

Moral Therapeutic Deism: An Evangelistic Challenge

Unless we understand what people are saying about what people believe we won’t succeed.  This is hitting the present and upcoming generations, not just an academic interest.  This is what people believe, it has penetrated the church, and wider society.

  1. God exists and creates but he doesn’t do much else.  Many will sign up to God working he exists.  Not a slam dunk to conversion – much more a deist view rather than a theist view.
  2. God wants us to be good – you can define what God is – and it is all that matters.
  3. The aim of life is to be happy – happiness is a straightforward way of talking about life – they don’t worry about the future in the same way.
  4. God is not involved in life unless necessary or needed – only when God needs to turn up for me.  Much of this is around in our churches, our conversations with each other and ourselves.  Christians need to show they want to live differently.
  5. Good people go to heaven when they die.

St Birinus wouldn’t recognise this as a way of life.

 

Wide: Basic Social Theology

A rule of life is important as it helps us to understand the 3Ps are not something you do but something you are.  We are all to be passionate, pioneering and prophetic.

Understaning how we are to engage in wider life.

World of Daily Life (Spirituality): everyone can do this, to be the Christian at work, to share faith at work.  When was the last time you led someone to Christ, and how did you do it?  Questions ++Justin uses in interviewing ministers for his diocese.

Public Life & Civil Society (Community): people notice when we run food banks, when we try to change the community for the better.  We are part of the civic society and we create it. +Jonathan is beginning to link with Southampton City Council in a way that has a big affect for us.

Economics: when was the last time you heard a decent sermon on economics, the crash has such an effect, why did ++Justin tackle Wonga, not to bash them, but because it is right, and so moving pension investments makes a big different.  Politics (Citizineship): if we can’t talk about citizenship matters, what are we doing in following Jesus, we would only have half of Jesus.  The rule of life would provide a basis for this debate.

 

Forms of Mission & Church: The Mods, Sods and Nods

Holiding together complimentary forms of mission.  Ordained into one aspect of the church for 20 years, so coming at it from a different perspective from some others.  Want to find a way of saying yes to people as we were not planted by a parish church movement, we were planted by a mission movement, a Benedictine mission movement planted us, and that needs to be incorporated into our structures.

  • Modality: another way of tlaking about the parish, local, diverse Christian community.  The Parish movement was invented in the 7th century, in the Provincial Meeting of Canterbury.
  • Sodality: spread-out, task-focused and religious like – the Benedictine, Franciscan, Church Army are part of the church.  We need to consciously include Fresh Expressions, Pioneers into it.
  • Nodality: the reason why Anglicanism works well as have flexibility for including all kinds of variations.  Episcopal allows a bishop to say yes to many modes.  Enabling the leadership to lead the mods and sods.

 

Both the modal and the sodal are structures of God’s redemptive mission.  It is therefore normal and normative that the modal church has a mission.  However also, both the modal and the sodal are Church, but in legitimate different ways.  It is therefore normal and normative that the sodal mission is ecclesial.  (George Lings, Understanding Church Better).

When does a pioneer grow up, they often don’t.  We have to recognise some will always be in that sodality model.

Bishops to hold both unity in truth and mission spirituality.

 

A Third Archdeacon: Resourcing Mission Development

Have someone to help through the implications of resourcing our mission.  Resourcing this mission, these priorities, requires someone to think it through at a breadth but allowing people to still deliver.  Responsibility for delivery and vision – what we ask our Archdeacons to do.

Planted global anglican communion – who now at times – don’t see themselves in us.  A commitment to local and global missional church leaders.

Refounding the Wessex Benedictine Mission Movement – someone who will think through the implications of a rule of life.

Someone who co-ordinates those who are co-ordinating.  Implementing a vision for mission with strategic priorities.

Taking diocesan synods and structures seriously – residential conference, to Archdeaconry/Deanery and Parish Mission Action Plans.

Canonical and business structure for mission.

National church is supportive but says you can’t do it this way, so we look for another way of doing it.  If other people start adopting it they will change the law!

Mission Development: education, social enterprise, pioneering/FX, ministry and discipleship, world mission.

Intend to lead alternative model of episcopacy, so all three bishops will be saying, this is how we live, how we work, how we lead you, to enable you to become in Christ.

 

Discussion & Questions

No questions on third Archdeacon as that will come later this afternoon.  Focus on the Rule of Life.

 

Heard things here, that want to take to every church of every denomination in the City of Southampton, as it is of incredible significance.

How far does it role out?  Is it for everybody?

Will the final version be generic or specific, permissive; and do we have a chance to see the final rule of life before it goes life.

How inclusive or exclusive will this Rule of Life be?  What about confirmation, what about God Parents bringing children for baptism?

Is Benedictine the only model, is it possible to have a Franciscan or Ionian model.

Will it be compulsory for all with licensed ministry to sign upto?  The importance of not getting in a muddle between law and gospel.  Nice if a draft version came back to synod for approval.

 

Bishop Tim: Yes.  You can’t make people do things.  This is an invitation, a resource, an opportunity – people will want to ask how can I get it for me.  Like to encourage everyone to think about it.  This is a shape I find helpful and so I want to share it.  Benedectine is not the only way but most other models come under it.  Will definitely come to Diocesan Synod for approval.  Need to be clear it is grace that drives it all.

MOTION CARRIED!

Winchester Diocesan Synod Conference 2013 – Session 10

Diocese of Winchester

Session 10 is entitled “Strategy Two” led by Jill Garrett.  This is a live blog – apologies for any spelling mistakes and/or typos.

 

What are the 4 or 5 areas we all need to focus on across the diocese if we are to make this difference?

How our journey will move forward

Please give thanks and pray for confirmation and confidence about what is emerging.

Continue to pray and expect the Lord to confirm what we will arrive at.

Thoughts from the Bishop Staff Team

  • Every Christian openly and enthusiastically shares their faith (Faith Sharing):  Luke 4 – church should grow spiritually, numerically together.  Unless we were specific and explicit it was something that might not come through.
  • We use our influence as a Diocese to reach out and transform lives and communities, e.g. education, social enterprise and justice (transforming society): man running a motorcycle repair shop at the back of an academy using his faith and skill to pour out in that project He said if only I had a little more resource he could support even more young men in learning a skill and work – but also capturing something of God’s grace and value for them.  We need to see social transformation – reaching for it to be at the heart, the very core of who we are, we had a life transformation, the resurrection is the relaunching as +Tom said, we want to see that in our society, at the heart of our diocese.
  • Parochial ministry and breathtakingly pioneering initiatives flourish (parish and pioneering): a mixture of the variety and delight of ministry.  Having watched responses from all the tables where we struggled for short definitions as a Bishop Staff Team so to did people yesterday.  Want to delight in the varieties of ministries and not emphasise one over another.  Seen some great examples of pioneer ministry, and hearing Jon preach this morning.  Something we need to encourage, empower, and resource it, and experiment to have some form of catholicity, to have something of church ecclesiology in it.  Must not forget chaplaincies at the edge of church and ministry, and want to give thanks and delight for them.  The vast majority is in the parishes, and people wonder what about us.  Need to see mixed economy which sees all, and highlights how many parishes have a sense of pioneering ministry in their ministry.
  • We rejoice in our common belonging to Christ and in the privilege of sacrificially serving one another throughout this Diocese (Sacrificial Living): Philippians 2 – have this attitude for the sake of the mission of God and the church.  This is the life blood, as without it what progress do we make in the other areas.  It is the life blood of Christ, and if we are serious it will be our life blood to.

Tensions

  • Contrived/Holy Spirit
  • Clarity/Context

 From our conversations yesterday

From our passion to live out the mission of Jesus, we long for and aspire to be a Diocese in which:

  1. We re-imagine the Church so that we intentionally connect with our local communities in culturally relevant ways and proactively promote pioneering ministries and ministry with emerging generations.
  2. We grow consciously authentic disciples, followers of the radical rule of life, who go out into the world individually as confident, courageous disciples who openly share their faith and who come together corporately as members of revolutionary communities, rooted in prayer and kingdom values.
  3. We are passionate about social justice and commit to be agents of social transformation, who will transform public life and demonstrate loving faith at work in our communities.
  4. We demonstrate good stewardship of all God has trusted to us, combining radical generosity, care and capacity building with a clear focus on directing finance into the mission of Jesus.  We will share and multiply local good practice and use our people, buildings and other resources wisely, boldly pruning and investing in the kingdom.

As you consider what the Bishops Staff Team have shared and our conclusions from yesterday what is the Spirit of God saying to you about where the diocese should focus effort as we seek to live out the mission of Jesus?

Key questions

  • What do you like about the BST priorities?
  • What does the BST list capture that the synod list has missed?
  • How should the synod lsat change to incorporate what you hear and believe the Spirit speaks out for us?

Feedback

  • Faith sharing – move number 2 to number 1
  • Parochial ministry to be included
  • Enthusiastically for faith sharing
  • Use of influence as a Diocese is not explicit
  • Parochial ministry – to be added into para 1: “Re-imagine so that parochial ministry and breathtakingly pioneering ministries flourish that we intentionally connect …”
  • Sacrificial living
  • Parochial ministry needs to be transferred and linked with pioneering – prioritise emerging parochial practice
  • Importance of parochial ministry
  • Sacrificial living
  • All ministry is pioneering
  • Examples from BST 3 into Synod 2 and add local enterprise, and healing and reconciliation
  • Wanted to see word “transform” rather than “connect with”.
  • Questioning of parochial and pioneering – pioneering is in all contexts – parochial and fresh expression as all should be pioneering
  • Put living sacrificially into Synod 2
  • Missing sacrificial
  • Missing altogether seemed to be worship, prayer, and more
  • Demonstate v Practical
  • Mentioning social enterprise / education
  • Emerging generations sounds random – explicitly children and youth
  • Echo word for worship to be included with sacrificial worship
  • Adding parochial ministry to Synod 1
  • Add rejoicing in our common heritage, changing rather than maximising heritage
  • Rejoice in our common belonging to Christ but possibly in pre-amble
  • Synod 2 consciously doesn’t need to be included as authentic covers that, Christians rather than disciples
  • Synod 1 delete pioneer so it is all ministry
  • Add education to Synod 3
  • Serving one another throughout the diocese
  • Language sounds quite exclusive or Christianese
  • Parochial into Synod 1
  • Education with social transformation
  • Sacrificial to be added
  • Enthusiastically from BST 1 into Synod 2
  • Influence from BST 2 into Synod
  • Struggle with maximise return
  • Add prayer and worship to lists
  • Loved the phrase under God and delighting in God
  • Prioritisation of prayer
  • Loved the word enthusiastic under disciples
  • Good steward and sacrificial and generous giving should be separated as different points.
  • Adding education and social enterprise
  • Adding parochial ministry
  • Including parish ministry
  • Add sacrifice
  • In Synod 2 include leadership – being well led
  • Highlight mixed economies of ministry
  • Passionate rather than enthusiastic faith sharing
  • Education and global very important
  • Inclusion of parochial ministry shouldn’t undermine re-imaging church
  • Emerging generations – not just children and young people – must include 18-30s.
  • Question of 2 before 1 – disciples before re-imagining church?
  • Global partnerships – it should be global impact of society
  • Revolutionary is a bit loaded

Winchester Diocesan Synod Conference 2013 – Session 9

Diocese of Winchester

Session 9 is Bishop Tom Wright’s third session.  This is a live blog – apologies for any spelling mistakes and/or typos.

Jesus’ mission – our living of Jesus’ mission – we’ve had a decade of mission shaped church, which needs an eschatology – what has God promised to do eternally.  Otherwise Christians vary over what mission is and where it leads to.

The problem is since the Middle Ages the entire Christian discourse has assumed that the theory of eschatology leads to going somewhere else.  What happened at the Reformation, a bunch of people determined to give biblical answers to the questions, but oyu can give biblical answers to the wrong questions.  Justification of faith says no purgatory and if you have faith you go upstairs not downstairs.  If Ephesians had been used the theory of going somewhere else would have been got rid of, and we would have been reminded of the last scene of a new Jerusalem.

Eschatology must be about new creation, the rescue and restoration of God’s creation – resurrection isn’t about how amazing he is, although he is, but the re-affirmation of the good original creation.  Once evil has been defeated God can re-affirm the goodness of the original creation.  Move away from that you take a big step towards to Gnosticism.

Rev. 21-22 heaven and earth coming together, symbolised through the marriage of church and Jesus.  God wants community, the tower of Babel etc wasn’t entirely wrong.  God wants a rich community – garden and city coming together.  The city is the new holy of holies of the Temple.  The symbolism of the presence of God in his creation, is to become utlimate reality.  There is no sun and moon, so even great first lights are pointers to the new creation.

In the new creation there is discontinuity in several significant ways, but there will be much continuity, astonished and thrilled at all the beauty and life, but also astonished at how much of the old world will be re-founded.  All our language about the future is a set of signposts pointing to a glowing mist.  It is a symbolic language, iwll pets be in heaven, shopping in heaven – all of us are in a constant process of change – all our molecules change every 7 years – so we are like the curve in a waterfall – continuity in form, discontinuity in matter – we will be made more truly ourselves than ever before.  Heaven is important but it is not the end of the world!

Rev 22:1-5 is where you get Genesis, Ezekiel, Ephesians: the river is flowing out of the city, out of the temple, cf. John 7 flowing out of the believers heart; tree of life growing either side of the river, fruit every month.  The last scene is not a tableau but a project.  People ask questions about suffering and wrath – the thing which is being said is that evil is a destructive force – in the new creation there is no little place for the serprent in the garden city.  We downplay glory, we’re afraid of triumphalism, which is not in the gospel of the Messiah, but in Romans and Revelation it is clear GOd’s people are to be sharing God’s rule over the world – theocracy.  The rule of God’s people is the as so thing.

We are not there yet, it can sound like I’m saying the world is getting better, we’re on our way, a realised eschatology.  We know that the world is still a place full of groaning and sorrow.  Rom. 8 picks up on inaugurated eschatology – the now and the not yet – you have to say both – if you say now you become proud and if you only say not yet you will become miserable.  All the agony of the world, sea change of divorce and gender confusion – we should be people wrestling with these things too – personally and pastorally – not just sitting on the side.

The vocation of the church living the mission of Jesus is to be people in prayer in the Spiritt with the world in the places people are in pain.  The heart surgeon – a wonderful title for God – the world, the church and the spirit.

Eschatology – God is building God’s kingdom in the world.  No idea of progress or optimism.  There is a firm basis but it doesn’t mean the world is getting better, we know God will do for creation what Jesus did at Easter, we are caught up inbetween praying for it, reflecting on Easter, but we don’t know when things will happen.

Stone masons in the Cathedral yard.  Carving that stone, being instructed, but one day the master mason will gather the stones, and the stone mason will see his little stone meaning far more than he had ever imagined.  Not building the kingdom, God builds his kingdom, we are building for the kingdom, on the basis of the resurrection of Jesus, with anticipation towards God’s final work.

1 Corinthians 15 – an exposition on the resurrection last 50 verses – which he ends v. 58 “in the Lord your labour is not in vain” – in the resurrection God will unveil that great cathedral he has in mind all along, what you do in the present – strange visit, awkward youth group, horrible committee meeting – the resurrection is the re-affirmation of every last thing you do in the Spirit.

Therefore, our worshipping life must fit this reality.  Worship is not an escape – it ought to be a moment when and a means by which heaven and earth come together again.  There are moments when and places where heaven and earth mysteriously overlap, our time and God’s time mysteriously overlap.  We’ve become a bit rationalist in the Western world – so we screen out the heavenly dimension – so we turn it into words that we reflect on – equally not right to have airy fairy music that we listen along to.  Tunes tell stories, the Bible is a story, a book of story, when you deconstruct tunes watch out what you are doing with the narrative.

There are a 1,000 tasks and none of us can do more than one or two.  That’s why we have the body of Christ and why organised church for all it’s problems is it enables this.  Projects grow not top down, but ordinary unsung heroes and heroines were saying prayers, going to church, and coming out thinking we should do this.

Jn 16:7-10: when God sends the Spirit, it sounds like some important work with rulers who are bullies and getting it wrong, it is great that the Spirit come and do that work.  But Jesus is speaking about the Spirit that he gives his followers – so all of these are tasks that he gives the church to do in his spirit.  It is part of our commission, and for the last 200 years because society has decided that politics is what the world does and we do faith.

Eph. 3:10 the rulers of the world need to know another king is in charge and his name is Jesus, cf. Acts 17.  The dense paragraph in Jn 16 is classic “as so” passage when linked to Jn 18.  When Jesus confronts Pontius Pilate they talk about truth, kingdom, power and more, Pilate kills Jesus but Jesus

If you are interested in political theology, if you’re not frankly you’re not interested in mission.  My kingdom is not from this world – it didn’t start from here – but my kingdom is surely for this world.  If my kingdom was from this world my followers would be fighting to hand Jesus over.  Ironic that so many Christians are happy to use violence when it suits them.

Jn 14:12 – greater works – not sure what he meant, but we do know he did not mean lesser works.  Sometimes we don’t want to say we can do it all.  The Spirit will do it all, but he normally does it through people.  This is how public truth happens.  The reason people became Christians in such speed.  People become Christians because of the community down the road, who healed the sick and stayed when it got tough.

Beauty, justice and evangelism need to be triangulated.  God made a beautiful world, and has promised to re-make it.  God is doing it through the artists, dancers, musicians.  Bach and Handel still know the story of faith because of the Matthew passion and the Messiah.  Justice – God intends to put the world right, can be negative, saying no to injustice, those who crush the oppressed.  But if we are not in the church are struggling with those issues be it Syria or migration and immigration policy then the world can look to us and say new creation it looks like you’re not doing it.  Doing justice in the community as part of the mission of Jesus.  Healing of mind, body, memory, world is where the three meet.

Simply Christian didn’t do apologetics as there isn’t a neutral point for it.  Justice and spirituality is in all of us – we know we’re made for relationships and yet it is all so difficult, we all know freedom is a good thing and yet no one has a clue what it really means.

The missional church doesn’t have answers in the back pocket to dispense.  Because we have truth we don’t know it all.  The Dr can help facilitate health and avoid ill health but they don’t own it, similar to us with truth.  We need to discern where difference with the world is necessary – a gospel need.

In South Africa the expectation was a blood bath, and yet Desmond Tutu led the way in reading the bible and praying with leaders.  Though it is still difficult, who would have thought we would have seen a black Archbishop chairing a truth nad reconciliation council.  Why didn’t we do it in Northern Ireland, can we have something like this in the Middle East.

The church is to be a sign and means of God’s future.  We don’t have to get it all right before God does anything – thank God.  We are part of the process where God is recruiting image bearers – reflect my image to the world, and reflect the praise and groaning and moaning of the world to me – it will be tough – go through fire and water to make waves for the kingdom.  It will be far worse than you fear, but far more glorious than you can even imagine.

Winchester Diocesan Synod Conference 2013 – Session 8

Diocese of Winchester

Session 8 is entitled “Strategy One” led by Jill Garrett.  This is a live blog – apologies for any spelling mistakes and/or typos.

If our purpose is, together, to live out the mission of Jesus across this diocese and thus transform the communities of which we are part.  Often think of how we’re like a disco mirror ball experiencing and living out the mission of God in slightly different ways.

What are the 3 or 4 areas that we all need to focus on across the diocese if we are to live out this mission and make this difference.  It is a hard ask but we have the Holy Spirit to help and guide us.

The why and impact of strategy

Vision sets our destination for the diocese.  Strategy defines the route we will take to the destination together.  Strategy gives clear high level priorities.  It enables us to direct resources (especially time), to ensure the vision thrives in our own communities, in the diocese and more widely.  This is good stewardship.  As Synod you are responsible for setting strategic direction and promoting it to the whole diocese so we have something to pass on to our children and their children.

Double listening

Called to double listening.  Some of the key drivers for Fresh Expressions Communities were an emphasis on discipleship, being church not just doing church.

Luke 10:1-17

Jesus decided where not to go – it is good stewardship to know this.  If we concentrate on everything then we end up with little impact.  If we focus on “step change” strategic priorities for next 3-5 years and then manage them and choose another set of priorities.

Luke 4:14-19

“This is God’s year to act” as the Message paraphrases it.

World Cafe

On tablecloths you will write things down.  Table host starts with prayer, and then everyone will contribute and listen.  Key ideas captured on the tablecloth.  Table hosts don’t move from the table.  The rest of you will circulate to different tables – arriving with what is on your table.  Ideas shared and linked.  Patterns, insights, deeper questions.  Consensus will come with commonality of thought.

As you think about the vision of a diocese transformed by passionate Christians living out the mission of Jesus in your communities, what three or four common areas do we need to focus onto make this real?

Summary of ideas

  • Prayer, Prayer, Prayer
  • Go for Generation Y
  • Energising and equipping the Saints
  • Deepening personal and corporate faith
  • Innovative, pioneering, ground-breaking ministry
  • Transformational in public life
  • Social justice, outworking of our faith in community
  • Building a culture of trust, healing and reconciliation
  • Growing as consciously authentic disciples
  • Social transformation – public, visual, effective
  • Pioneering, contextual church
  • Discipleship – growing, nurturing and fostering
  • Equip and empower leadership at all levels
  • Life transformation – deepening our encounters with Christ
  • Enable and equip the Saints
  • Serve and engage community
  • Risk taking and pruning
  • Loving service in the community
  • Connecting with the culture with emerging generation (pioneering)
  • Discipleship (confident Christians and empowering leaders)
  • Highly visible engagement with society
  • Courageous discipleship
  • Passionate social engagement
  • Living a radical, authentic Christian life
  • Committed to re-imaging the church
  • Bringing joy through radical generosity
  • Effective communication – sharing the news
  • Confidence in the gospel through deepening spirituality
  • Making best use of resources, re-evaluating buildings
  • Engaging with culture in a visible way
  • Encouraging distinctive whole life discipleship
  • Radical evaluation of all our resources for the sake of mission
  • Pruning – costly reallocation of resources from maintenance to mission
  • Creation of proper capacity to underpin mission
  • Personal and social transformation through prayer and dsicpleship
  • Understanding and connecting with community and culture
  • investing in fresh ministry
  • Laying foundations of faith in young people
  • Encouraging and equipping disciples
  • Using a variety of options to reach out to pubs and clubs using church buildings
  • Enriching discipleship
  • Strengthening mission
  • Engagement with community
  • Authentic Christian living expressed in stewardship and environmental care
  • Everyone growing through prayer and scripture
  • Irresistible, encouraging and sharing of faith
  • Growing confident disciples
  • Improving channels of communication in and out of the church
  • Prayer and spirit filled listening
  • Good communication internally and externally
  • Missional discipleship
  • Commitment to a radical rule of life
  • Sharing workable models of ministry in engaging the community
  • Authentic disciples
  • Creating kingdom value communities
  • Revolutionary prayer communities
  • Engage with culture across all generations
  • Understanding the mixed economy – both traditional and emerging forms of ministry
  • Criteria applied to finance to achieve missional objectives
  • Liberate local churches for mission

Winchester Diocesan Synod Conference 2013 – Session 7

Diocese of Winchester

Session 7 is entitled “Fresh Expressions” led by George Lings and Rachel Jordan.  This is a live blog – apologies for any spelling mistakes and/or typos.

Rachel Jordan: The Missionary Challenge

We need to have a look at where we really are – like the weather girl giving a really bad weather report.  We spend so much time in church bubble, that our eyes don’t lift up to see what is happening.

Grew up in the Brethren, hearing stories of fantastic missionaries.  As a young girl thought God would send her as a missionary, and now in the middle of her life God has turned her around and said the UK is to be her mission field.

About 10% of the population regularly go to church, 2-3% are Anglicans.  Regular used to mean Covenanters, the morning meeting, running a club for friends in her grandma’s chicken shed, having done that popped back to normal church for the gospel meeting, then the after-fellowship.  That’s regular and only Sunday!  We now call regular once a month – things have changed!

If you look at the Census 59% still tick they are Christian, some are Christmas people, something they say but not sure what it means; growing percentage of no religion are predominantly more younger generations.

Luke 15 – the parable of the Lost 90 Sheep – interpretation of where we are now.  A lot of our focus and resources is focussed on the 10% who are already Christian, we seem to have failed to notice that 90% are missing.  The God who is the missionary God says we have lost the flock and isn’t it time to do something about it.  People are still called to China etc., but for many it will be to here and now to where we’ve lost a large percentage of the flock.

David Vowas was tracking religious affiliation by year of birth – no religion get bigger the younger you are.  Not a big surprise, but we do need to see something has happened, going from approx. 20% to 55%.

Tearfund did a report in 2006 on church going by age – if stopped a 60 yr old in the street and asked if ever have been part of the church community 60% would have been to church – not necessarily now but maybe as Sunday school, 40% of 40 year olds, 20% of 20 year olds.

When did you last have a meaningful conversation with someone of that age.  On a train to Coventry, speaking to a young man who had never met anyone who worked for the church, was like an alien being to him.  Never been to church, no understanding of what it was like.  Talking to someone from another world, in another language, can’t use normal words as they don’t have your vocabulary.  Sounds like Gladys Alwood and other missionaries.

At the hair dressers, how do you explain your job to them?  Go broad, work for Church of England – complete blank – the what?  Often we think we mean something to people, they have some concept about the Church of England.  A lot of people in their 20s and younger have no idea of the Church of England.  Tried to describe the Church of England!  Hadn’t heard of St. Paul’s Cathedral or Westminster Abbey!

Niece in a class of 30 asked who believe in God – 2 put their hands up.  The teacher and teaching assistant and all other children put their hand up for not believing in God.  No one believes in God – how surreal for him.  What world is he going to grow up in, and what skills am I going to equip him with to reach his generation?  Equipping them with a missionary challenge that is much bigger than our own challenge.

Often get told at Church House not to worry as we have lots of 60 year olds, and we get them all aged 60 for flower arranging rota!  Religious affiliation by decade of birth, 1983-2010 shows that people make very small changes to their religious affiliation – sticking with where they are at from their 20s.

Implications

If people belong in their 20s, they will probably stay for the rest of their lives.  But if they don’t it will be really hard to bring them back.  And unfortunately the Church of England  (and the wider church) has not done well in keeping young people.  The Black majority and Chinese churches are looking to us for answers as they are hemorrhaging their young people.

Have a Pioneer Missionary that lives in her spare room, have a community of 20 people some of whom are Christian, some post-Christian, some no faith.  14 Americans from a church of 4,000 wanted to come and look at her community.  They are beginning to lose young people and so wanted to connect and see what others are doing.  America is beginning to face what we have been facing.

Generational Decline

  • 91% of 2 non-believing parents don’t believe
  • 46% of 2 believing parents believe
  • 20% of 1 believing parent believe

Young British adults are half as religious as their parents.

George Lings – Fresh Expressions

Response rate of 98.5% from all the diocesan leads given.

How many Fresh Expressions Communities (FXC’s) and how many attend?

Know number of FXC and Churches ranging from 8.4% to 30.2%.  In attendance figures for Diocese v FXC ranges from 4.4% to 10.3%.  Some are contextual – e.g. Norwich has a high proportion of attenders but low churches because it has more rural churches which affects the maths.  We don’t know how FXC has affected policy and appointments.

AWA declined by 7% but our population we serve increased by 10%.  In all but two cases the growth from the FXC reverses the decline in these dioceses in the 6 years of previous reported figures.

Many small things but a few big ones

Planting from a large church for another church doesn’t work, need a variety of small key things.  Will have some large inherited models.  Small is not code for weak or ineffective, it is just different.

A third grow quickly to the level they will always stay at.

How often do they meett and on what day.

Average 47.5% meet weekly, 58.3% meet on a Sunday.  Monthly may be a good place ot start but not a good place to stay.

Mission Shaped Church identified from 12 types of FXC to many including Alternative Qorship, Cafe Church, Children Focussed Church, Messy Church.

The vast majority of FXC is after the publication of Mission-Shaped Church.

Inclusion and exclusion of FXC

Contextual, process in mission of which the identity is ecclesial.  Toast is a fresh expression of bread, it doesn’t help us, too often we speak of Fresh Expressions.  Hydrogen with Oxygen – Water.  Leave either out and you don’t get water.  Missional with Ecclesial – leave one out and it isn’t FXC.

What have we found

A serious level of confusion exists even at diocesan level about what counts.  How can you assess something without prior agreement of what it might not come.

Example Chelmsford

  • Arch on or from FXC: 17
  • Died: 5
  • Infrequent (less than monthly): 10
  • Not an FXC: 37
  • Duplicate Record
  • Not Yet planned not started
  • Excluded outside of 1992-2012 period

FXC – What kinds of people come?

Interviewed 1,000 leaders who gave their impressions of Christian, de-churched, and non-Churched attendees.  Asked what they aimed for and what happened.  Simple scoring system of 0-3.

  • Christian: About 70% of Christians were negligible or a minority in what was present.
  • De-Churched: ABout 85% were there as minority or majority.
  • Non-Churched: About 55% were either majority or over-riding presence.

You get more Christians at FXC then you bargain for, but many will be the team who were sent.  You don’t get as many de-churched as you want, and less non-churched than thought.  Smallest group present is still Christians, more non-churched than de-churched.  This is a notable difference from Parish life, nothing else like this in the Church of England.  Want to run this against different types of FXC and more geographical models.

What was the geographical area planted into?  

Know that Diocese look different as to where FXC meet, but not sure if this is the right proportion.  In Norwich started asking if the people attending FXC were representative of the area.  In 81% people are typical of the area.

Why start an FXC?

  • Diocesan Initiative
  • Growth Philosophy
  • Provide Increased Diversity
  • Unreached People Group
  • Inadequate Penetration of Parish
  • New Housing Opportunity
  • Physical Restriction at Mother Church
  • Other

Parish works well in area, but doesn’t allow for cultural variety and diversity.

Data shows us the same instinct – it is a way that Parish struggles to reach cultural diversity.

Neighbourhood and network

Who comes as in area, who comes because of friendship.  37% of people come because of friendship network.  Possibly over-egged in 2003 Mission-Shaped Church – network and neighbourhood matter.

A significant investment

9 dioceses have sent out 5503 people, but the return of proportions is about 250% – nothing in the Church of England manages this.

Sacraments: 21.7-48.6% have held communion 19.2-42.4% have held baptisms – but both are irregular and 42% of FXC are only three years old or younger.

Mortality Rates

5.3% mortality rate, 0 left the Church of England.  Ran a detailed look on 48 out of 497 and saw 35% took no steps towards a three self ID (self-financing, self-governing, self-reproducing).  54% of the died had celebrated communion, but of those still alive 39%.  Priority often seems to be on self-governance.

Location

Derby is the only diocese in which the majority of FXC meet in a church.  Need to listen to context.

Leadership

Ordained led FXC 48%, Ripon and Blackburn are only dioceses who have majority of ordained leading.  Lay led FXC 52%.  Lay-Lay with no real training or authorisation is 39.6%.  The furtheryou go on, the proportion of Lay led church increases.  52.8% of leaders are women, 47.2% are men.  Full-time is 48%, part-time 17.7%, spare time 37%.  Male leaders are more likely ot do it as part of a full-time role whereas women do it in their spare time.  FXC is often not ecumenical.

Theological style

FXC are not Evangelical or Evangelical-Charismatic lock-out, linking with Catholic and or Central traditions.

Conclusion

We need to understand context and culture – the skills that we have learnt back from the first missionaries, and skills we need to learn as a church.  Incarnational ministry – what Jesus did, how he birthed and developed ministry.

Now swap shoes with someone – to be a missionary you are going to have to walk in someone else’s shoes, giving up something that is precious and of value.  Lay down your culture, your way of doing things, deal with change, change footwear, or far more dramatic, as the only way Jesus could come into this world is to give up his power to rescue us.  Think of all the people we could see joining the church is we lay down our lives and try new shoes.