Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Captain's Log February 2014

Wow, what a crazy month January was, I don’t seem to have had time to catch my breath since starting back to work on the 6th January.

The first Sunday I was in my home Church, St John’s Hove and assisting with the Eucharist was on the 2nd February. Every Sunday in January I have been out and about at other Churches.

A number of those visits have been in support of Soul by the Sea during our Road Shows. 

We are pressing ahead albeit we are in real need of Administrative Support, more actors and funds!  It was a delight to join with others during the last month for the Passion Trust Conference in London. Passion Trust is an umbrella organisation that helps and supports those who are seeking to mount a Passion Play. There are over 80 Passion Plays of various shapes and styles across the country. As part of the development of Soul by the Sea we are gathering together on the 2nd Thursday of every month in a pub in Brighton. This is simply a time to come together and enjoy each others company and build up relationships.

It was a delight on the 14th January to meet with colleagues of the Church Army Chichester Cluster to celebrate Founders Day. This is the birthday of Wilson Carlile the Founder of Church Army. Great to hear from colleagues of the ongoing work and ministry of the Church Army, founded in 1882. This was followed by a fabulous lunch at The Moorings Pevensey Bay.

January saw the launch of the initial report of the Church Growth Research programme ‘From Anecdote to Evidence.’

It was a real privilege to be able to gather in London for this launch that put some empirical facts behind what had been hunches and best guesses for a number of us who have been working and thinking around Church Growth. Some of the findings are deeply challenging and warrant serious thought and consideration by all dioceses in their planning and strategies. 

One of the important factors is that of engaging with children and young people and helping them to remain engaged with the Church. I still think above all else however we need to help people establish a living personal relationship with Jesus.  That has to be a top priority as children grow from a vicarious faith to an owned faith. I had an opportunity during the month to be able to play a small part in that fostering of spirituality in children. I was part of a ‘team’ who mounted a School Prayer Space at Hurst Prep School

It was an amazing privilege to be able to take two/three children at a time and help them explore and interpret the interactive prayer stations.

One important factor in seeing Church Growth is Fresh Expressions of Churches. We had our Mission Shaped Ministry Course reunion and lunch in January. It was great to catch up with people again and to hear of some very exciting developments in a wide variety of settings and contexts.

Also had a trip to High Wycombe to meet with Simon Martin, Arthur Rank Centre Training and Research Officer. He and I put together the Rural Evangelism Course and this was an opportunity to review the course.

Lambeth Listening Days
This was the title given to a series of days held at Lambeth Palace convened by Canon Chris Russell, Evangelism Advisor to  Archbishop Justin Welby.  Evangelism is one of the Archbishop’s top three priorities. These ‘Days’ brought together from across the country a wide range of ‘Evangelists’ from all church traditions. Chris is seeking to get an overview of what is happening across the country. It was very stimulating engaging with people like Bob and Mary Hopkins, Jonny Baker and Bishop Stephen Cottrell among many others from Missioner Networks.   My strong play of course was for rural evangelism not to be ignored!

Prayer Diary February 2014 ~ some of the stuff I am doing...

 Monday 3rd
In the evening leading a session on Contextual Mission for the Readers Course.

Tuesday 4th
London for a gathering of Hope 14 Regional Practitioners.

Thursday 6th
Soul by the Sea Committee in the afternoon and a Road Show in the evening to the Holland Road Baptist Youth Group

Friday 7th
Sussex Prayer Breakfast

Sunday 9th
Leading ‘Kairos’ Service at St Peter ad Vincula Wisborough Green. In the afternoon attending the Plough Sunday Service Chichester Cathedral.

Monday 10th
Meeting with my friend walking towards ordination.
Tuesday 11th
Spiritual Directors Introduction Course. (Part of ‘facilitators’ team.’)

Thursday 13th
Soul by the Sea Community Gathering in the evening

Sunday 16th
Brighton Half Marathon – raising funds for Off the Fence who minister to the homeless and vulnerable.

Sunday 23rd
Preaching at The Church of the Good Shepherd Dyke Road Brighton. This is part of a Soul by the Sea Roadshow.

Tuesday 25th
Spiritual Directors Introduction Course. (Part of ‘facilitators’ team.’)
In the evening speaking to Cuckfield Deanery Synod on ‘Welcome.’

Wednesday/Thursday 26th/27th
Rural Ministry Course Arthur Rank Centre
Leading Workshops on Rural Evangelism

Family News – bit worrying at the moment with Joe who is taking part with an Outdoor Mountaineering Course with Cotswolds in the Cairngorms. As part of this venture he is also planning to have three days solo trekking. 
Daniel, Tracy and baby Kerryn have moved across the road to a bungalow which will give them more space. Daniel also starts back into a teaching post this month.
Tabitha is leaving us slowly! She is spending more and more time with Marcus and now they are planning a holiday together!
Jane is now working almost full time at Mile Oak Primary School. She has proved to be a valuable asset to the school alongside of course her continued support of my ministry.  She is my musical other half!

Thank you for all your support and prayer.

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