Since launching in June 2014 Urban Life has started to deliver learning experiences around the country, and develop resources for learning and research. The work has been facilitated by a growing group of experienced and innovative facilitators.
Here are some milestones Urban Life celebrates:
LEARNING JOURNEYS: Tailored learning experiences delivered to groups based in tough contexts. About 30 people involved in 3 pilot courses in Leeds, Stockport and Birmingham.
THEOLOGY-TO-GO: Advanced course in practical theology and incarnational mission. About 55 people have joined TTG groups in Birmingham, Dundee, Glasgow, Bristol and Leeds. New groups starting in East London and other locations from September 2016.
CREATIVE CONVERSATIONS: Introduces new depth to the way we listen to others in our day-to-day encounters and fosters a deeper sense of neighbouring with those in marginalised situations. We have worked with about 60 people through three gatherings in Oxford and Bristol during 2015-2016.
TAILORED LEARNING AND RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES: Support and supervision is given to practitioners to research their own context in order to critically review and develop their practices, deepen their understanding of issues faced and nurture ongoing theological reflection. We have supported 4 people in this way (Exeter, London, Calais Jungle) and are able to extend this to a further 6 people in the coming year.
ONLINE RESOURCES: A growing resource to support mission in deprived urban contexts: seminars and webinars by practitioners who draw on their experience to explore key themes in mission (estimated 800 views); blogs; on-line learning resources
MISSION IN MARGINAL PLACES: Six books drawing on theology and social sciences to explore key issues in mission and marginality.
RESEARCH DEGREES: Delivering four new modules which explore the key areas that are coming to the fore in terms of mission in marginalised urban contexts. Presented in partnership with International Mission Centre (Birmingham) and Bristol Baptist College.
RESOURCES FOR INDIVIDUAL PIONEERS, ASSOCIATIONS, COLLEGES AND MISSIONS ORGANISATIONS: Urban Life has delivered a range of training and consultation across the country to colleges, missions organisations, Baptist Associations, incarnational communities, conferences, church planting forums, individual pioneers etc.
A longer version of this report can be found here.