New mission taster weekends
Church Mission Society, Fresh Expressions and Anglican Church Planting Initiatives have teamed up to launch new mission experience weekends.
The ReSource weekends promise Christians a "unique and stimulating" introduction to pioneering mission in the UK, says Jonny Baker, course leader of CMS's Pioneer Mission Leadership Training course.
The four ReSource weekends range from services in homeless shelters to worship in the Welsh outdoors. Participants will hear stories from mission practitioners in these areas and experience firsthand innovative mission and fresh expressions of church.
Sarah Roberts is one ReSource participant who is currently pioneering a project to link parents in prison with the teachers of their children.
"If you want to discover your vocation, or do something new, ReSource is a pretty good place to start," she said.
Sarah was a teacher but gave up her job without any clear idea of what to do next. It was months later, in conversation with Jonny, that she came up with the idea for the Families Outside project.
"There is no formal process in the UK for identifying, and therefore supporting, children affected by imprisonment, yet each year an estimated 200,000 children in England and Wales, and 27,000 in Scotland, experience the stigma and shame associated with a parent going to prison," she explains.
"Having worked with three children whose mother is serving a long term sentence, I knew that things could, and should, be different."
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The ReSource course enabled her to connect with other pioneers and hear their experiences.
"ReSource is a course with a difference. It's about experiencing rather than just learning. It's for people who sense God inviting them into something new, who might not know exactly what that is or how they will get there. It's about meeting others in the same boat, drinking coffee and eating together," she says.
"I remember my second ReSource weekend, being amazed as about nine people, who'd been invited along to share, stood up one by one and told their story. As each one spoke, I felt them say to me, 'We have been this way before. You will be ok.'"
Baker said: "It's exciting to be offering such a diverse range of contexts. It will provide the usual mix of inspiring stories, interesting conversation, challenging questions and space to reflect on how to apply the experiences to your own practice.
"This is what makes ReSource such a unique and stimulating opportunity. It is also a brilliant introduction to pioneering mission and if this is something you are considering, I would highly recommend ReSource as a significant first step."
People can book into individual weekends or opt to do all four. The dates are 18-20 October and 8-10 November 2013, 21-23 March and 16-18 May 2014. To find out more and book your place visit resourcemission.com.