It is now more than four years since Mike began to lean into developing learning processes for mission practitioners in marginal places drawing together urban theology, human geography, mission studies and ethnography. One of the first things he did was to invite myself (Anna Ruddick), Carmel Murphy and Andrew Grinnell to meet to talk about what a facilitated reflective process for local missional groups might look like. Since that Manchester coffee shop in 2014 we have developed into an Urban Life core team, finding that Mike’s aspiration for Urban Life resonated with each of our individual vocations. As we have shaped Urban Life together we have also been shaped by the process, leading to our involvement developing in different directions over time. In our impact study published in 2017 we outlined the huge amount of work done in the first few years of Urban Life, and you can read the report here.
As many of you will know Mike Pears relocated to Amsterdam this summer to take up a new post as Director of the International Baptist Theological Study Centre (IBTSC). While we are sad to see Mike leave we are also excited for the future of Urban Life, including continuing to working with Mike in his new role. We are entering a time of transition in which we will be considering the form and direction for Urban Life in its next season. But we’re still busy. Among other things we have Theology-to-go starting in Leicester, Amsterdam and (we hope) Sheffield in the next few months, we’re continuing our Urban Life MA track in partnership with Bristol Baptist College, and we’re developing a new Community Development module for CMS.
So lots going on and all exciting. Mike has written his reflections on his Urban Life journey and for those of you who have followed us closely you may want to take a look, you can read his thoughts here.
As part of this transitional time we will be refreshing the website, and will begin to produce a more regular enews in the new year. If you would like to get in touch with us to find out more about what we do then we’d love to hear from you. Drop us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna, Carmel and Andrew
Urban Life Core team.