Our friends and fellow travellers at the Sheffield Centre have started a new bulletin/journal called Letters Home. It’s a bulletin aimed at those like CMS who are in new communities or orders or sodalities (yes jargon I know but probably useful as a term) and definitely aimed at pioneers. It is edited by Beth Keith and this is how she describes it…
Letters Home is a collection of thoughts, struggles and dreams; it is in fact a collection of letters home. A collection of letters written by pioneers who have followed the call to go beyond the Church as is. We chose Letters Home because they want to stay connected, stay in touch, and because home is not just where they’ve come from but a family they still belong to.
When we were putting it together it felt like an odd mix combining research, theology, parable and meditation. But it felt important to mix it up. It’s in the mix we find ourselves, combining gut instincts with rationale observations, thought through prac- tices with missional spirituality. The exploration we’re involved in requires all of this.
The first issue explores the tensions pioneers experience as they go beyond the existing church. It is totally brilliant. Everyone on the course (and beyond) should pour a cup of coffee or something, and sit down and chew over the contents.
Our very own Karlie has two delightful pieces in it that were actually originally written and submitted as part of her portfolio on mission for the course.
Beth present’s what she has called elsewhere the pioneer’s journey. This shouts so loudly to me that pioneers are really well advised to connect with a mission community or network (a sodality). What are you waiting for?!
I really loved a piece by Simon Sutcliffe reflecting on the pioneer as guest. He creates a map of pioneering that has three types – pioneering in existing structures, creating fresh expressions and the ministry of wandering or being a guest (or sodal pioneer). This is a really helpful piece. I suspect that many ion the church think of pioneer as either one or two but life becomes more complicated if you want to pioneer in the last category and dare I say more exciting, unknown, and wild…
Then there are a few other pieces as well.
Anyway go have a read and see what you think. It’s available as a series of pieces on the blog or to download as a whole. We will definitely be reading and talking about this. If anyone would like to contribute I am sure Beth is up for considering content. Thanks again to the Sheffield Centre whose research we seem to keep bigging up!!!