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Reform Magazine | April 23, 2024

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Priests and dairy farmers: God’s A-Team - Reform Magazine

Priests and dairy farmers: God’s A-Team

Lessons from the Reformation point the way for outreach and ministry

It’s a common conversation at all levels of the United Reformed Church’s life. How do we balance ministry and outreach with the maintenance of congregations and buildings? How will we adapt our responsibility to deliver pastoral care as ministers find their work stretched across more churches and wider geographical areas?

These are not new questions. Nor are they peculiar to the URC. The Revd Paul Whittle, a synod moderator since 2008 and convenor of the Ministries Committee for six years, has had to address them as much as anyone during the course of his ministry. It comes down to synods, he says, where there is a requirement to balance the ever-shifting needs of churches with an optimum number of ministers. For a variety of reasons, he says, ministers of Word and Sacrament will never be shared equally (however that is measured) between the URC’s 13 synods. Which means the bigger question is a broader one about vocation across the board: about how we do ministry and mission all together as the shape of the Church changes…

Laurence Wareing is Content Editor for Reform

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This is an extract from an article published in the May 2023 edition of Reform

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