Community-minded: Journey of surprises
It took the disciples many years to come to terms with the full impact of Jesus’ resurrection, not least because they themselves had to keep developing and changing to meet the new challenges that their journeys of faith kept raising. Even with the benefit of 2,000 years of hindsight, grasping the breadth and power of newness of life on God’s terms is a lifelong journey, and one which is still full of surprises.
One example of this journey of surprises was seen in Poole recently. Members of the Bridging Communities project had the idea of organising a living history initiative, and it turned into a major piece of work. Many agencies and organisations worked together to bring it to fruition, and the partnership resulted in two books, displays and presentations in schools, community action days and various other elements each of which was a big achievement in its own right. Alison Dalton, a church-related community worker there, says that as each element has drawn to a close, the organisers thought they would finally be able to put the whole project to bed, but more suggestions and opportunities keep cropping up.
The latest of these is a “faith trail”, a walk through the town taking in both historic and present-day places of worship, with an annotated map and information at each site. This idea grew from the concept of opening churches for a heritage weekend. The participating groups have developed such good working relationships that people bring forward their suggestions, expecting that things can happen. The churches are recognising that God is already at work in the communities around them, and they need to catch up and get involved if they are to be authentic disciples and witnesses.
This is an extract from the April 2013 edition of Reform.