- How do we help families with children feel a sense of connectedness with the community to experience wholeness?
In the last PMC update we heard that the MIT (Missional Innovation Team) were going to make some initial enquiries regarding connecting with bridge people in the community, people who we can form deeper partnerships with to help us explore our adaptive missional challenge. The MIT meet again on Thursday to discuss how this has been developing and will give us an update in the next notice. We will look forward to hearing of any developments.
In the mean time Ruth and Darren from the Steering Team facilitated the first of our conversational meetings based around the concept and practice of Hospitality: one of the core 6 Spiritual Practices that we as a fellowship will be exploring over the second year of the PMC process. Although it wasn’t as well attended as we hoped for, it opened up some deep and life-giving conversations about our experiences of hospitality, both in terms of giving and receiving it. We received really positive feedback on the nature of the meeting and the interest it generated, including some really encouraging words by individuals who have found the whole PMC process slightly more challenging than others.
Below are some of the questions we explored on the day that you might want to explore again further with friends and colleagues, or for the first time if you weren’t able to attend the first meeting. Perhaps this could be done in the context of your weekly gatherings such as the house group or the coffee morning:
- Share a time when someone offered hospitality to you that you were not expecting. How easy, or difficult was it for you to accept (receive) hospitality?
- Have you ever been dependent upon the hospitality of someone very much different fromyou? Name the anxieties or fears you may have experienced at that time. Or, name the anxieties you feel at the thought of this.
Any feedback on further conversations would also be welcomed by the PMC Steering Team. The date for the next Hospitality gathering remains the 24th of May (but it’s 3pm instead of 4pm). Further to this, the actual day (ie Sunday) is being reconsidered as it did prove to be too difficult for some to make it along. Any further changes to the date or the time will be circulated two weeks in advance.
The next hospitality conversation meeting will cover similar questions but will also help us to begin looking at ways in which we can engage further with the actual practice of hospitality, particularly based on our renewed and wider understanding of it, and in light of our adaptive missional challenge. The practice of hospitality will also hopefully enable more of those who are a key part of All Hallows fellowship to take risks and experiment with us as we move into the second phase of the PMC process. Our explorations of hospitality will also help us to supplement the work of the MIT and the practices of the St John’s students, who are beginning to build deeper relationships and partnerships in the Lady Bay community, particularly in places such as the Lady Bay pub, who we have identified as key partners in the community.
Another Spiritual Practice that was introduced to the Church in a talk the other week by Darren Howie, was Dwelling in the World. This is deeply linked to the practice of hospitality. It is this idea that God will help us to become alert and observant of the people in the world (in particular, those in our immediate community),thosewhoGodissendingus to(SeealsoadaptiveChallenge) ‘Peopleof peace’. As the Father sent Jesus and the Spirit so they all send the Church (us) to recognise our partners in His mission. The hope is that this will help us to shift our energy and focus and to adopt an attitude of expectancy and outward focus, rather than a sense of fear and being withdrawn. Dwelling in the World means that we become a church without walls. That is risky but it’s an adventure and God is with us.
Some of us arranged to meet last Sunday with Sam Hustwayte, who is doing some research for the Southwell and Nottingham Diocese on the PMC process. Unfortunately, Sam had to cancel due to a family illness but Darren Howie facilitated the meeting in her absence. We have complied a handful of questionnaires with more still to be collected, and the information will be passed on to her in due course for her to complete her report. I would like to offer the opportunity to anybody else who would like to be part of this discussion and have some input to contact me to obtain a questionnaire.
If anybody has any further queries, concerns or suggestions about anything to do with the PMC process, or if there are any people who would still like to be part of either the MIT or the Steering Team we would still love to hear from you. Please contact Darren Howie, Ruth Holbrook, Jenny Hempstead or Joanna Howie (MIT convener).