I started attending the Mission Shaped Ministry Course being run in Cape Town this morning. One of the suggestions for the course is that participants find a way of reinforcing what they have learnt - by journalling, sharing with others, blogging, . . . So I thought maybe this blog could come back to life for a bit.
Fresh Expressions is this thing that I have heard bandied about in the context of the British Methodist Church and while I've felt sure I could guess what it was about I haven't been sure. So when I heard that this course was happening in Cape Town I thought I would give it a go.
I was a bit hesitant because I have always been in favour of alternative ways of doing church - and have tried a few ways myself and I wondered if I would find much in the course that was new. Also - I am afraid that society and culture are changing so fast that I'm not sure our courses can keep up with them! However, I also thought that it wouldn't hurt to be reminded and to be challenged again - and of course, there was always the chance that there would be plenty of new stuff!
The best thing about today was the networking. I didn't anticipate this, and perhaps I should have. The Methodist Church is strong because of its reliance on the fellowship within circuits, but today I was reminded of the ecumenical fellowship. I don't want to be disloyal to my fellow Methodists, but I can see some interesting partnerships in the future.
I am reminded that I have a tendency to let authority figures have undue influence on my well-being and my willingness to innovate. I wonder if I can be bold enough to step beyond that?
The material covered today suggests that what the course teaches will be 'old ground' for me, but it was really good to be with people talking about this stuff. I have so many ideas, so much I want to do in church, such a shortage of my own time and energy, but with this as a motivation I hope that I will manage to put more into practice.
The last few months have been such a good time of refreshing and revitalising after the demands of probation. I am coming back to myself. I think this is going to be a good part of the journey.