Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Offspring: fresh expressions New Zealand Presbyterian style

Alongside my keynote sessions to the New Zealand Presbyterian Church General Assembly, over the weekend, addressing the theme – Hospitality as mission: Your place or mine?, I also provided input into Offspring. This was a stream that ran in the mornings alongside the Assembly. Over three mornings, three different Presbyterian fresh expressions told their story. My role was to add some global and historical depth. I told stories of the church in history and around the world. I organised these around three themes

- crossing cultures, with a particular focus on the Gladzor Gospels from the church in Armenia (The Armenian Gospels of Gladzor: The Life of Christ Illuminated (Getty Trust Publications: J. Paul Getty Museum)
- mission and the gospel, with a particular focus on the Celtic church (drawing on part of a chapter from my Sustainability and fresh expressions book chapter)
- what is church, with a particular focus on UK Fresh expressions

At the end of the sessions, the Offspring stream were asked to provide a communique back to the Assembly. This was a grace-filled moment, as the church at the centre opened themselves to hear from the churches on the edge.

Here are the notes that I took, as the stream prepared to share

1-What have we been doing as an Offspring stream? Telling stories, centring in prayer, inspiring each other, connecting, creating community and belonging, challenging each other, global and local stories, clarifying what fresh expressions are, being encouraged by hearing others, eating and drinking, dreaming.

2-There have been opportunities for us to be – Encouraged and affirmed to keep going, thinking and imagination stretched, courageous in responding to what God is telling us to do. We have realised that resources for mission are there in the community not only the church and that significant leadership for mission resides outside Ordained ministers.

3-Challenge for the church – There were many, but these were summarised into one statement

Lest we forget: We are re-forming. God is re-forming us for a new season

It was incredibly rich to offer my stories, while sitting and listening to New Zealand pioneers tell their stories. God is doing some wonderful things among the Presbyterian church.

Posted by steve at 12:39 PM

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.