Friday, 4 December 2015

Daring to risk

John 1:14
The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,
like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish.

Our visits around the country, with congregations involved in discerning whether the Path of Renewal is right for them at this time are almost complete.
Next week, we meet to choose the pilot congregations.
This stage has been positive and encouraging : so many parishes are enthusiastic about engaging with God in mission and, in particular, about being part of a project that promises companionship along the way.
Many of the congregations we have met have affirmed that engaging with the questions raised so far has helped them to reflect on where they are and consider possibilities of where God might be leading them - and so, for them, the journey has already begun.
There is a desire to equip and resource Christians to share their faith in their daily lives
Congregations have expressed how they have felt valued by being included in the discernment process, countering the isolation that many experience.
There has been excitement about the possibility of being involved in a national project, the opportunity of journeying with others, sharing insights and encouragement and daring each other to take risks, as well as the acknowledgement that, even in "failure", or when outcomes are not as anticipated, there is much to be learned.
Although some folk have, understandably, been frustrated by the lack of a specific programme or even measurable outcomes, many others have welcomed the notion of the path of renewal in their communities being shaped by context and by the unpredictable spirit of God.
There are signs that God is already renewing communities throughout Scotland and that many congregations have gifts and skills to be involved in that.
In transitional terms, as described by William Bridges, many of the leaders in congregations who will participate in Path of Renewal have already embraced or are close to embracing the ending of one thing and are preparing the enter the Neutral Zone that will lead to new beginnings. It's a messy, challenging but extremely creative place to be, where support and encouragement is key. But it is also a place full of opportunity to discern God at work in the neighbourhood.
We look forward to continuing the journey together with God.

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