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A source of updates, stories, lessons, examples and peer news / resources from Building Bridges of Hope - a 'living laboratory for changing churches' sponsored by the Churches' Commission on Mission of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (an official ecumenical body for Christian denominations in England, Scotland, Wales & Ireland). Updated regularly.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

[41.1] WELSH CHURCH, HOLYWELL IN FLINTSHIRE

The Welsh Church, Holywell, Flintshire (otherwise known as a united Welsh Presbyterian and Methodist Church in North East Wales) are a BBH pilot exploring with their accompanier, Nia Higginbotham, how to develop a new future for their ministry and mission.

Their minister, the Rev Jennie Hurd, Kathleen Hughes and Roberta Owen were at the Future Church Conference in November 2003.

Roberta writes of what has been gained in being part of BBH Conference:

1. The need to "see ourselves as others see us". The Church is a local, publicly visible sign of what its members understand being "truly human" is. The local church should therefore have an effect on the world around it, and not exist just for its own sake! It must be welcoming and keep its language and teaching simple.

2. The need for new kinds of leadership. The church should be nurturing relational and collaborative forms of leadership. The only authority is God. Clergy and lay leaders should be "servant-enablers". The imperative is to seek the "hidden treasures", that is, the gifts possessed by the congregation and to seek out peoples dreams.

3. The need to accept that values are more important than beliefs. We share basic values of love, respect, justice with Christians and non-Christians. The church should often be "scary, mmessy and risky". We should welcome conflict, because by resolving it respectfully we grow.

4. The need to see the wider significance of communion, not only as a sacrament, but the symbol of active, sharing relationships with each other and the world. It is the symbol of the very mystery of a God whose being is love and who reaches out with that love to us. We are ONE but we express ourselves in diverse ways - and need to respect and cherish this diversity rooted in our different history, language and cultures.


Comment on this post: BuildingBridges [Nb. Content is not necessarily the view of CTBI/CCOM]

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

[40.1] WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY

BBH is very much about the unity of the church in mission. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity began on Sunday 18 January 2004. See CTBI's WPCU page for full details, including notes and prayers updated daily.

Also listen to Premier Radio (in London, or online).... Bede Gerrard has recorded for us a Thought for the Day to go out Monday to Friday, 19 to 23 January (played three times daily) and was interviewed last Friday.

Judith Maizel-Long (CTBI) and John Coles (Church of England) are on Cindy Kent's show around 16.15 today. Bishop Angaelos will be on the Breakfast Show on Wednesday at 09.45.

Resources have gone well - CTBI has sold out of 50,000 prayer cards and is doing a reprint.

Comment on this post: BuildingBridges [Nb. Content is not necessarily the view of CTBI/CCOM]
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