It was exciting last year when the Diocese of Southwark gave overwhelming support for holding a Vision Day for Fresh Expressions. There has been a growing realisation that the church cannot carry on as it always has done. The church is living in times of great change and we need to learn how to share the Good News of Jesus in new imaginative ways.
One of the foremost ways that this has been happening in recent years has been through the Fresh Expressions movement in this country.
So, it is a great thing that we are holding a Fresh Expressions Vision Day, this Saturday, on March 23rd at St Mark’s, Kennington. This is an opportunity to hear from people like Bishop Graham Cray (who heads Fresh Expressions), Ian Mobsby (of the new monastic community Moot) and Rachel Jordan who is the National adviser on Mission and Evangelism in the Church of England. They will be sharing the vision for new forms of church and how we can start to look around us in a different way.
This fits very much into what we are trying to do at Springfield Church with our River Ministries – reaching out to those outside our community. It will certainly help those who are already interested in these ministries or are thinking about them.
It is also of great value for those from any denomination or church that is seeking to reach out with the love of Jesus in their community. This day will help people and churches look to see how we can change how we reach out to those who don’t come within our normal orbit.
As the Fresh Expressions write-up on the days says:
Fresh Expressions vision days are a dynamic way to explore new ways of being church and how to form them. Over 6,000 people in over 80 places in the UK and worldwide have discovered more about fresh expressions of church and have come away with a real desire to work with God and develop their dreams. In a fun and interactive way, vision days give you the chance to:
- share your story;
- think about what it is to be church;
- ask questions;
- find out about fresh expressions;
- discover resources;
- build networks and relationships.
vision days are ideal for complete beginners, those with real questions about fresh expressions and mission-shaped church, people who have started something new and need some practical help, and Christians from all churches and traditions.
One of the aspects that I think is most valuable is the sharing of stories and the ability to ask questions. There are some especially great seminars in the afternoon where this is especially able to happen. These include one on Spiritual Seekers (especially engaging with those who are pagan or in the New Age movement), the elderly, young families, new monasticism, new estates etc. A chance to help you envision church in a new way.
We already have had over 100 people that are booked in to come and these come from different denominations and different types and styles of churches. Indeed our very own Bishop of Croydon, Jonathan Clark, will be opening the day and it’s great to see the diocese behind this event and wishing to encourage new forms of being church.
If you want to come then you can find all the contact details on the Fresh Expressions website: http://www.freshexpressions.org.uk/vision/southwark
It’s only £5 and includes lunch as well! It’s being held at St Mark’s, Kennington (opposite Oval station). Well worth it for a day when you will be encouraged and challenged and envisioned. Hope to see you there!