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Partnership for Missional Church – Year two

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What’s God up to? How can we join him?

Last year we were project and task based gathering information on what we felt about our churches and where we were at that time. And it was a full-on year.

At an away day in September 2016 the PCC, the church leadership and PMC steering teams chose a challenge. Briefly, God has shown us a need among the lonely or isolated people in our community and we aim to walk alongside them, building a community where everybody grows in love. Since this was chosen there has been much in the media about the problems that loneliness can cause.

Coincidentally the Caversham Methodists who are also involved in the PMC process came up with a very similar challenge. As we share the same area in Caversham we decided to see if we could work together and we now have one combined team of 8 people, the missional innovation team (MIT) which is working on the challenge. Obviously in this challenge it would be an impossible task to walk alongside all the lonely people so they tried to identify a group that they feel they are being called to work with. They also looked for partners in the community with whom they would be able to work co-operatively.

The steering team meantime was promoting aspects of Christian fellowship and relationships, the caring, sharing things that Jesus urged us to do, intentionally noticing people, listening and paying attention to them, finding those with whom you could perhaps strike up a relationship, maybe with someone you know but only by sight or with brief conversation, not just within the congregation but within the community. We were learning to ‘listen’ to the Bible and discover how it ‘speaks’ to us.

On 13th May 2017 we ran a PMC event entitled ‘What’s God up to? How can we join Him? About 30 people attended. Starting with coffee and croissants we had taster sessions for four spiritual disciplines. These were entitled ‘Dwelling in the word’, ‘Dwelling in the world’, ‘Announcing the Kingdom’ and ‘Hospitality’. We started by demystifying each of these titles and then discussing related questions in small groups. We also had a progress update from the mission innovation team (MIT) and a request for people to pledge some time on a regular basis to visit or help someone they know who is lonely or isolated. There were lively and constructive discussions and we had good contributions and ideas. Feedback tells us that people enjoyed the experience.

The steering team launched ‘Announcing the Kingdom’ with bookmarks and a poster where we could write our own experiences of where we had seen God at work. View the poster

We launched our campaign for the promotion of the spiritual discipline of hospitality in December with invitations handed out at many of our Christmas services.

PMC Hospitality invitation side1PMC Hospitality invitation side2