Social isolation and associated mental health problems are likely to become one of the greatest killers in the western world. Isolation is also the enemy of Christian community. What can we do as churches to connect with each other in health ways that lead to the flourishing of church and society?
Phil is part of E1 Community Church in the East End of London and has been part of the leadership team for 17 years. He is actively involved in the local community in a number of partnerships such as with CitizensUK and Ambassadors Football. When he is not busy with E1, he works with Urban Expression, an agency deploying teams to do missional work in marginalised communities, as a development worker.
Convening Conversations with Muslim Women – Jan Pike
In this webinar, Jan explores how we might use ‘conversational spaces’ to convene with those from culturally and socially diverse backgrounds. Some questions explored in this webinar includes:
- What do we mean by accessibility and how committed are we to ensuring it?
- Which kind of questions enables the glimpsing of another way of being?
- Can we hope for Conversation in intentionally conversational spaces to be transformative for all involved?
- To what extent can we see Conversation as a deeply contextual and radically hospitable approach to mission?
Jan Pike lived in the Indian sub-continent for over 20 years before finding a home and work in Bristol as an ESOL tutor to mostly Somali women and so has a wide experience of communicating cross-culturally. Her engagement with women from a range of Muslim countries, now living in inner city Bristol, has led to faith conversations being shared and the eventual development of tools for dialogue where everyday Christian and everyday Muslim people meet on the basis of relationships built, to hear and have told the Stories from both the Qur’an and the Bible. Through this activity, deep things are shared and new things about the nature of God are revealed.
This webinar examines some of the tensions of living with destitute asylum seekers in community. Reflect on theology, particularly about how angry we get immersed in this world and tell stories of courage and chaos untamed and how nonetheless Jesus inhabits our world even when things go wrong.
Rachel live in community in Easton, Bristol, a multicultural area in a 3 household community with connected gardens. She also runs a small charity working with destitute asylum seekers and a small social business providing housing for destitute refugees. In her spare time she loves chatting (to anyone and everyone), playing music and cooking.
Videos featured in Rachel’s webinar:
- Refugees Welcome at Bristol Hospitality Network
- The Destitution Trap
- End Destitution of Refused Asylum Seekers in the UK
- Arts of Hospitality
Increasingly, our world is becoming more urban, with over half of the planet’s population living in urban communities. As a result, our cities are facing the growing problem of gentrification where the influx of affluent people into our neighborhoods displaces poorer residents, thus changing the character of the neighborhood. In this seminar Rob will explore how the process of gentrification has affected marginalised communities and how we might respond.
After ten years and three rather uncoventional church plants, Rob Schellert chooses the road less travelled: walking alongside London’s radical anarchist and squatter communities. Rob’s experiences and passion for the forgotten, the marginalised and those who have given up on church has resulted in a unique perspective to share with tboth those inside the church and those whose experiences have kept them far from a church threshold.
In this outstanding seminar Anthony offers stories from his own experience to explain how a Black theological perspective presents critical reflections and fresh insights to urban mission in 21st century Britain. In our postcolonial context, where issues of plurality and power abound, he provokes us to reflect on our own image of Jesus and challenges us to consider again how a richer appreciation of Jesus might lead us to a deeper participation in the kingdom of God in complex urban areas.
Church planters can spend months researching a new place in order to shape their strategy. However neighbourhoods are not that easy to read. It is difficult to see beyond the obvious. Often we settle for a superficial understanding. Getting to know our neighbourhood more deeply will change and challenge us in unexpected ways. It will open our eyes to what Jesus is doing around us and help us to be a prophetic church. Practical tools will be introduced for this exploratory journey.
Engaging with Power – Mike Pears
Poor neighbourhoods are often stigmatized as ‘problem estates’ or ‘no-go zones’ and the people are divided into ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders.’ When we do mission in these areas we realize that the issues are much more complex than they first appeared. We soon find ourselves with more questions than answers. What is marginalization? Why does it affect people so powerfully? What does mission look like in marginal places? This webinar will explore these key questions.
‘Just Friendship’ – Andrew Grinnell
In this webinar we will discuss the nature of the relationships we seek to build with people in low income areas. We will explore how the virtues of justice and hope may be expressed within these relationships.
Looking for Transformation – Anna Ruddick – nee Thompson
Powerpoint for Anna’s webinar can be accessed here.
In this webinar Anna considers the results of her research among members of urban communities and those in urban ministry into their own life change. She discusses what is meant by transformation and considers hopes and expectations for ministry in urban communities. In the light of the stories of transformation arising from her research Anna considers practically what kind of ministry can best enable transformation in the lives of urban people.
Anna Ruddick has been involved in urban ministry in Manchester and Salford for the last nine years and is passionate to enable others seeking to make a difference in their communities. She is a freelance facilitator, trainer, writer and speaker most recently working with the Eden Network and Livability. She is currently researching perceptions of transformation in urban communities for a Doctorate in Practical Theology at the University of Chester and is on the Council of the William Temple Foundation, a research body concerned with faith and public policy. Anna recently got married to Andrew and relocated to Leicester and is enjoying exploring a new urban context.
How not to fix people (including yourself) – Ben Payne
Many people who work and live in poorer communities have recognised the damage that can be caused by running projects designed to fix people. An alternative approach which focuses on drawing alongside and working together with the local community has developed but it comes with its own set of challenges. What are we really achieving? How do we deal with the pain we meet if we are unable to fix it? Where is God in these encounters? This webinar will look at how we can respond to these challenges before considering what the principles and practice of restorative justice can teach us about the work of drawing alongside others.
Ben Payne works for Remedi, coordinating adult restorative justice services across Humberside. He recently moved to Hull having spent six years living and working on an estate in South Bristol where he was part of an urban expression community. He is currently completing a Masters in Restorative Justice and likes to think that one day he could become a professional footgolfer…