Friday, January 31, 2014
a loose collaboration of experimental journeyers
Over the last two days, I’ve been at the National Fresh expressions and mission-shaped ministry 2014 conference. Today, I provided a brief public explanation to those gathered of the story to date.
The conference emerges from a loose collaboration of experimental journeyers. Back in 2010, I heard a number of people around Australia saying, “It would be good to offer more focused training and resourcing in mission.” I suggested a conversation and the result was a decision to use the mission-shaped ministry course as a focus. We decided to seek to collaborate together to develop and contextualise this for an Australian context.
The focus would be on local delivery by local partners, with the blessing of the original designers – mission-shaped ministry England. Together we would be a resource as fellow travellers. Anyone could offer a course, as long as it was local, ecumenical and within their capacity, professional.
Seven groups initially said yes
- Anglicans Canberra
- Anglicans Adelaide
- Lutherans SA , NT
- Uniting Synod SA
- Uniting Synod Vic Tas
- Uniting Synod NSW, ACT
- Uniting College
New members could be added at any time. They simply need to ask and to pay a $1000 fee – designed to give us a start up fee. We whacked up an agreement, to be reviewed annually at national gatherings. We’ve since met four times
- Pilot workshop – May 2011
- Training with the Dranes – Nov 2011
- National peer learning – Nov 2012
- This conference – Feb 2014
Today I chaired the “annual meeting.” The energy in the room was palpable. There are new partners keen to join us (we’re now a grouping of 12 different entities). We’ve made decisions to keep meeting. First, a 1.5 day gathering, of pioneers and practitioners, to share and storytell, November 2014, in Adelaide. Second, November 2015, in Melbourne, a two-part gathering, to continue the contextualisation project re mission-shaped ministry and to again gather pioneers and practitioners.
A few years ago there was just a dream. Now there’s an energetic, dispersed, coalition of experimental journeys.
It’s also really practical example of ecumenism in the 21 st century. I counted 5 denominations around the table today – all with a shared passion for mission, drawn together by projects.
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