What does mission shaped ministry look like?

What does mission shaped ministry look like?

Ready to try something in your own community? Or already have? Want to join a learning community to help guide and reflect your thinking?

Congregations that wish to move out into communities and discover how they can be more effective in ministry are encouraged to attend the Mission Shaped Ministry 2020 Facilitated Weekend on 20-22 March. This will be one of two events run by Uniting Mission and Education this year to facilitate community connection and new, fresh expressions of church.

The weekend invites participants into learning communities to exploring and experiment while learning together. It is ideal for those Congregations already trying new ideas or those with a heart for being the church differently in their contexts. The weekend includes mentoring, ecumenical explorations, and action-reflection learning opportunities.

The weekend will begin with dinner on Friday evening with Rev. Dr Michael Frost and a panel discussing what it means to be a missional church.

In a recent blog post “The mainstream church needs fiesty, determined, experimental communities,” Rev. Dr Frost noted that: “These days I think it’s fair to say the church isn’t perceived as either gentle or friendly. But throughout its history, the church has given birth to small, experimental, hardy, little communities that have come out and stood as a counterpoint to the mainstream church.”

On Saturday there is a packed program with speakers Rev. Lindsay Cullen, Rev. Christine Palmer, Rev. Dr Karina Kreminski, Armen Gakavian , and Liam McKenna.

Karina Kreminski and Armen Gakavian will be examining a “this-worldly” spirituality for mission in the urban context. Together Karina and Armen have been serving in the inner city, living out a grounded spirituality for mission there. They will be asking: What does mission in the city look like today? How are our expressions of spirituality sometimes inadequate for mission? What does an urban spirituality look like?

“In the West, Christians are losing their relevance so we need to be a faithful presence in the neighbourhoods,” explains Karina. “where we live to connect with people again. Only in this way will we be God’s people embodying his love being witnesses in our world.” 

Rev. Lindsay Cullen will be paring back to the basics to unpack how Mission Shaped Ministry defines a ‘fresh expression’ as “a form of church for our changing culture” in his keynote “What is Church?”

“So people beginning fresh expressions are in the business of starting new forms of church,” explains Rev. Cullen. “But they are doing so hoping to provide something quite different to the inherited forms of church which clearly are not proving to be relevant or attractive to many in our society. So what is essential to being a ‘church’, and what are the bits we can, and perhaps should, happily discard? What are the practices that are ‘core business’, and what are traditions that can be left in the past? This session will get participants wrestling with these questions.”

On Sunday, there will be satellite sessions held at Baulkham Hills St Matthews Uniting Church with Rev. Dr Dean Drayton, Glenbrook Uniting Church with Rev. Charissa Suli in the morning and afternoon sessions held at Lane Cove Uniting Church, Grace Uniting Church in Goulburn and the Common Groundz Cafe in Lalor Park.

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