07.May.2014 Shaped By God blog archived

With the diocesan website having more and more on it direct, the Shaped by God blog is now archived. As most of the non-date specific stuff still holds we are not closing it down at the mo but also not adding anything new.

To visit the front page of the diocesan website click here: http://www.leicester.anglican.org/

To visit the Shaped by God pages in particular click here: http://www.leicester.anglican.org/shaped-by-God/

To sign up for the weekly e-mail with news and resources for mission in (diomail) click here: http://www.leicester.anglican.org/blogs/

Thanks for reading and may God richly bless you, in His great abundance, for all you are and do in helping more and more people and communities know evermore of the transforming relationship He offers through the Lord Jesus Christ and by His Spirit!

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14.Nov.2013 Rhythms of Worship: three evenings on worship, new forms of church and learning from each other

Wednesday 15th, 22nd and 29th January, 7:30-9:30pm, St Martins House Leicester
How do Fresh Expressions of Church worship? How do we ensure corporate worship is both contextually appropriate and draws on the best of our Christian inheritance? What place should there be for sacraments within Fresh Expressions? This short course gives some input as to four rhythms of worship which allow us to mine the depths of liturgy (not just the spoken word but all our movements in worship) and space to relate them to the life of your Fresh Expression. Led by Archdeacon of Leicester and member of The Liturgical Commission of the Church of England, Tim Stratford. Tim brings a wealth of experience in matters liturgical, and having recently served in a team of inner city Liverpool churches, is well versed in the challenges and opportunities of contextually appropriate worship. The course is specifically focused on those involved with Fresh Expressions of Church and those looking to learn from Fresh Expressions principals, but is open to all. Although aspects will have more of an Anglican flavour, it is hopefully accessible to those from other denominations and the final evening of the course will reflect more specifically on worship within Methodist and URC Fresh Expressions of Church. There is no cost, but places are limited so please book with beth.marvin@covlec.org If possible please book by 16th December.

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23.Oct.2013 Free, customable posters for your church this Christmas

editable_postersTwo new, excellent resources, allow you to customise high quality, intriguing, missional posters for advertising services and events at your church or benefice this Christmas. With thanks to Nick 11138Gurney, Creation Swap have two which can be downloaded here and Christmas Starts with Christ makes it even easier with eight different posters (e.g. carol service or nativity) which you download, add your details in the box and then save – voila all done and ready for printing in A3 or A4. Download them here.

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30.Sep.2013 Finding the Way and Re:Joice

Finding the WayOn Monday 30th September, we hosted two exciting events on mission and evangelism. During the day we were delighted to welcome Canon Robert Warren (formally leader of the quickest growing church in the Church of England and a speaker with many years experience in mission) to lead a training day on his latest book, Developing Healthy Churches. Over a hundred of us were greatly blessed through his ministry and positively provoked to what God might be calling us to. A copy of his PowerPoint slides are available to download here. If you don’t have PowerPoint they can be downloaded as a PDF here..

In the evening, a hundred and fifty people from across Mission Partnerships came together for Re:Joice, an evening to celebrate and give thanks to God for what He is doing through the diocesan vision for mission, Shaped by God. A range of stories were shared over food and on video, with both Robert Warren and Bishop Tim bringing missional encouragement and challenge, Bishop Christopher introducing six new or potential Mission Partnerships, the Dean and Chair of the House of Clergy leading us in prayer, both Archdeacons inviting us to be recommissioned for God’s calling and the Bishops Youth Council reminding us of Paul’s words from Ephesians 3. All in all a hugely encuoraging night of hearing what God is doing and how we might evermore join in.

As part of the evening a video was prepared with seven vignettes, stories which represent a cross section of what God is doing across out county and city. You can watch it below:

With many thanks to all who took part in the video and to Luke Fogg and Keith Cousins for filming and editing.

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24.Sep.2013 Statistics for Mission 2013 – early notice

Download a PDF version of the form HERE.

Download a Word version here (formatted for Word 2010; should convert properly for other versions of Word, but if it looks strange or takes more than four pages to print please contact us for an amended copy).

(sent by e-mail 24th September 2013)
To all Churchwardens and Deputy Churchwardens in Leicester Diocese (and cc all clergy),

As those of you who were Churchwardens this time last year will know, each year we ask Churchwardens & Deputy Churchwardens to complete a Statistics for Mission form which helps us to understand more of how the Spirit of God is moving in our churches. How we support, encourage and resource churches in mission flows, in a large part, from what you will complete in this form. Training and development is directly tailored by what we can see of God at work, for example a number of training days and courses in recent years have been directly in response to the collected findings of this form. Priorities and vision are greatly influenced by it.

As promised in previous years, I am pleased to enclose a link to this year’s Statistics for Mission form. It refers to the 2012 calendar year and so a paper copy and freepost return envelope will be sent in December, but as much of it refers to counts taken during services in October, we wanted to send a copy to you before then so you knew what was going to be asked.

In particular there are a few significant changes both to the form and the process it is probably helpful to highlight:
+ The deadline has changed. In response to feedback, to make the most of this information whilst it is still current, instead of returning with the Archdeacons Articles of Enquiry in April, this form has been removed from the Articles and is being sent, and we ask, returned separately. All the information asked for should be available by the end of 2013 and so please can the completed form be returned, in the Freepost envelope provided or by e-mail if you would prefer, as soon as possible in January 2014, but no later than Monday 20th January 2014. It is the duty of the Churchwardens to ensure this is completed and returned on time. The process is explained more fully on page one of the form.

+ As there was some confusion about whether school services should be included or not in the October count, these have now been broken out into a separate category.

+ Churches told us that recording services just on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day didn’t sum up the significant ministry of Advent and so there is an additional space to record this.

+ The look of the form has changed. Whilst it is impossible to design a form to suit all 20,000 people that will complete it nationally, the national stats team, hosted a consultation of a cross section of users and have amended the form’s look substantially – also making questions and notes much more straightforward.

+ The form can be returned by e-mail or by post (and have been reformatted making it easier to print out for those that would like to). We are also happy to post paper copies now for those that would prefer to have one before the count starts just contact beth.marvin@covlec.org

Download a PDF version of the form here. To download a word copy see the link at the top of this page.

Thank you again for completing this. Far from a red tape, bureaucratic exercise (which would serve none of our busy lives!), the results are already substantially shaping what we do. Hopefully, the combined picture will allow us to help God grow His Kingdom even more in the coming years.

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05.Sep.2013 A Mission Shaped Ministry…

MSM photo How do we accompany and train those who are starting, leading or looking to learn from new, emerging or Fresh Expressions of Church?

If that’s a question you are pondering, or in particular if you know of others who are, then we are delighted to announce not one but two new Mission Shaped Ministry (MSM) courses. MSM comprises nine sessions over sixteen months, full of good practice, theology and space to consider how we grow in God’s calling to see every person reached with His love in Christ. One course starts this February, another next September (but meeting on the same day in adjacent rooms so as to learn and share together over lunch and in worship). MSM is organised jointly by the Northampton Methodist District, the Dioceses of Leicester and Peterborough and the East Midlands Synod of the URC, with sessions led by a mix of highly regarded national leaders in their given field and local practitioners who are doing it day in day out.

Each of the sessions is on a Saturday, from 10am to 4pm, at St Martins House in Leicester. They are spaced deliberately to make it possible for busy people to take part. Individuals are welcome, but we recognise learning often happens better in teams and so to encourage this there are a range of bursaries and discounts for teams (as well as those for whom the cost would be otherwise prohibitive). There’s an early bird discount for getting in quick and there’s a £40 bursary to any coming from inside the area of any of the partner denominations organising it but outside of Leicestershire (to help defray the additional travel costs).

Modules include topics such as Mission context; The mission of God; Vision, values and call; Starting something new; Listening for mission; What is church?; Leadership; Gospel and culture; Team roles and behaviour; Discipleship; Evangelism; Spirituality, worship and the sacraments; Growing to maturity and optional sessions specific to a rural context, new housing areas, small group church, children, young people and young adults.

Download the flyers and application forms for both courses here And here’s what some previous participants have said:

Gilly Beardmore, says, ‘msm has taken us onto exciting new paths of learning, asking ourselves how we prayerfully breathe God’s love into our place and time, bringing all his people into his community. What a resource we can now carry.’

Diana Hancocks, adds, ‘It is a great course and I am thankful that I have shared this learning. It has shaped my journey, I have a much greater understanding of fresh expressions and feel better equipped, both spiritually and practically.’

Lesley Birtwhistle, writes, ‘It has convinced me even more that we need to be where people are, demonstrating the message of the Gospel, and opened my eyes to different ways of doing this. It was a great opportunity too to meet with others travelling the same path and share ideas, experiences and expertise.’

If you know of someone for whom this might be of interest please don’t assume that someone else will let them know! Maybe you are the only one who can pass on this opportunity!

For more information contact Barry Hill here.

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03.Sep.2013 Hope ’13 and Hope ’14 – free book!

220 pages of practical mission ideas from ecumenical mission group Hope, funding sources, theology around mission and theory. Yours. For free! Honest! Normal price £6.

Before Easter a letter and DVD was sent to all licensed Clergy and Evangelists, paid Youth workers and Pioneer Ministers in Leicester Diocese about the youth-led mission this Autumn and the invitation to a year of mission across all denominations next year, all under the banner of Hope. A copy of this letter can now be downloaded and you can watch the short video here: http://sbg.dioceseofleicester.com/?p=1158 We are also delighted to have 500 copies of the brand new book, Hope: A Heartbeat for Mission. It’s packed full with practical ideas (loads of stories of what has worked), theology around mission (Paula Gooder on word and action evangelism and much more), theory (including an overview for a year of mission from the Bishop of Sheffield) and even details of a new national charity which has up to £2,000 per project available to pump-prime mission.

It normally costs £5.99 each, but we are delighted to have secured enough copies for each church to have up to five copies for FREE! Contact beth.marvin@covlec.org with your name, address and e-mail to get your free copy (and to be automatically signed up to the HOPE e-mailing list so you’ll get occasional news and ideas for mission).

As Bishop Tim writes, “With a deeper than ever awareness of the challenges facing society, HOPE provides a scaffolding for churches across the denominations to work together for effective mission. I have pleasure in commending it and asking what one thing could you do in word and deed with other Christians to make a difference through HOPE?”

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Interview with Archbishop Justin

Earlier this year Justin Welby sat down with Nicky Gumbel for an interview at the HTB Leadership Summit. Thanks to the Lambeth Palace website, below is a copy of that video. It’s a wonderfully personal, warm and human interview, pointing to God’s calling through Jesus throughout. Archbishop Justin discusses how he became a Christian, the difference faith has made during some of the hardest times of life like the death of a child, how he was turned down for ordination first time (the Bishop told him that he had interviewed more than a thousand people for ordination and that he didn’t even come in the top thousand!) and the ways in which God calls us to help grow His church through a deep reliance on Him. A fascinating interview:

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14.Aug.2013 Finding the Way

Signpost 2
What does it mean to be a healthy church today? Robert Warren has led one of the fastest growing churches in the Church of England, served as National Officer for Evangelism in the Church of England, co-authored the Emmaus Course and authored both the Healthy Church Handbook and most recently Developing Healthy Churches. He brings much experience, plenty of faith and down to earth teaching on helping bring about transformation in and through Jesus Christ.

We are delighted that Robert has agreed to lead a special diocesan day entitled Finding The Way’ on Monday 30th September from 10am to 4pm to give space to explore these themes further (refreshments from 9:30am). During the day Robert will share teaching, practical examples, exercises and ideas but there’ll also be time to ground it in the reality of the worshipping community(or ies) of which you are part. Open to all, the day is likely to be of especial interest to anyone who is licensed, ordained or authorised, to Churchwardens, Treasurers and members of Church Councils, and to those who hold some leadership within the church (e.g. a housegroup, children’s group, musical role or the like).

The day, at St Martins House, Leicester (next to Leicester Cathedral), is provided without charge, but as places are limited in number, booking is essential. To book your place e-mail beth.marvin@covlec.org (or leave a message on 0116 261 5348). Parking for those with disabilities maybe pre-booked onsite (dependent on availability) with the parking for everyone else being directly across the road in the old bus depot (the cost of which will be re-imbursed on the day). Lunch is provided (please let Beth know at the time of booking of any dietary requirements). Download the flyer here.

Christian Resources shop will be open throughout the day, with special offers on a range of related books, including Robert’s most recent, Developing Healthy Churches.

Finding The Way is one of wide number of events organised across the diocese each year to serve churches in fulfilling the calling to reach out in mission under the umbrella of the diocesan vision, Shaped by God. Visit www.ShapedByGod.co.uk for regularly updated ideas, stories and resources for mission.

For those staying on for the evening
In the evening, Robert will also be the keynote speaker at RE:JOICE, a major diocesan event giving thanks for what God is doing through Shaped by God (more details from your Mission Partnership Convenor or Area Dean). For those staying on for RE:JOICE, a room will be made available for those that would like in-between with refreshments and hopefully wi-fi. As places are very limited the evening event is by ticket only with each current or potential Mission Partnership receiving eight tickets.

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10.Jul.2013 ‘Music making is a spiritual experience’ – Interview with Des Yarde Martin

Music taught me about fresh expressions, says Des Yarde Martin, a first year student on he CMS Pioneer Mission leadership Training course. Helen Harwood talked to him about a love of music, a lifetime of teaching and first steps into pioneering mission in his local community. Read the interview here: http://pioneer.cms-uk.org/2013/07/10/music-making-is-a-spiritual-experience-interview-with-des-yarde-martin/

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Parish Spotlights

The more we understand our parishes, those that live in them and their needs, the more we can serve God in being effective in mission. How many people live in your parish? How old are they, what are their most pressing social needs? What’s their ethnic, faith or education background? What’s their health like, areas of employment or lack of it and the resultant deprivation?

With thanks to the hard work of the Research and Statistics team from the Church of England nationally, the 2011 census data has now been combined with some parish attendance and financial information, the previous (2001) census plus a range of other government information to create a Parish Spotlight for each parish in the Diocese.

These Parish Spotlights contain key information, represented in a graphical format, together with some of the questions it raises. It is free to download, analyse and use below. We are deliberately making every parish’s available to everyone so that together we might best understand the needs of the areas we collectively minister in.

Click here to read more and download them.

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01.Jul.2013 Cameras, phones, ipads and weddings….

Should guests take photos during wedding services? Many would say no for plenty of good reasons. But is there a good mission case for saying yes. In a thought provoking blog entry Vaughan S Roberts, Team Rector of Warwick, writes about connectedness and the personal Jesus: http://blog.bakeracademic.com/tonights-the-kind-of-night-by-vaughan-s-roberts/

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28.Jun.2013 Christmas Tree Festival – a free resource!

Does your Church have a Christmas Tree Festival? If so, the dioceasan Mission and Ministry team have written a simple leaflet (well half of it!) to give to visitors and hopefully provoke them to discover more about the Christian faith and all Jesus offers.

It’s a simple concept. We’ve written one generic side with the hope that you’ll add details on the other about what next step a visitor might take (e.g. a discover Christianity course like Alpha or Puzzling Questions), a one off event or special service plus your contact details. Download it here. Or download a printer read version with double of the side we have written here..

It’s not designed to share the entire Christian story, but hopefully there’s enough to intrigue those searching to find out more…

We are grateful to Richard Brigg’s for the photo, which was taken at St Mary’s Church, Melton Mowbray, December 2012.

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21.Jun.2013 Man of Steel

manofsteel_quadDamaris have prepared a reflection on the blockbuster Man of Steel (the new Superman film) which has much in it which can be used to think about the Gospel. It includes discussion questions. Read more here.

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Greater Love – marking the centenary of World War 1

Hope Greater LoveRoy Crowne at ecumencial mission agency Hope, has been doing great work drawing together a range of partner organisations to consider how we might appropiately respond to the 100th anniversary of the First World War in 2014.

‘Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends’ (John 15:13).

From the Hope website: “As part of HOPE’s focus on 2014 as a year of mission, we are preparing resources to help churches to mark the centenary of World War 1 at the heart of local communities.

The centenary commemorations will be a key point in 2014 bringing communities together. The events offer the local church a focus to link with families in their community: a mission moment that is a natural context to talk about Christian themes like sacrifice, prayer, hope, heroism and community.

Commemorative events throughout the country will be held around 4 August 2014, the centenary of the start of the Great War. HOPE is working with denominations and key Christian ministries as we did for the Diamond Jubilee, to develop resources for schools and churches to use. Branded ‘Greater Love’ these resources will help churches and their communities to reflect, pray, and find out more about the source of Greater Love today.

More will follow in early 2014 so for now why not put the date in the diary and make sure you are signed up to receive HOPE’s news updates to find out more here.

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