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Community Handbook 2019

The call in action


1.WELCOME TO THE COMMUNITY “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19

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This year it certainly feels as though God is “doing a new thing” at Church Mission Society. We welcome our new CEO Alastair Bateman; new pioneer training hubs and the Partnership for Missional Church process are developing around the UK; people in mission are working in new pioneering contexts; we are collaborating more closely with our sister CMS organisations in Africa and Asia; we’re forming a new mission movement in Latin America; and we’ve even launched out on Instagram to encourage reflection on mission.

thing” God is doing and join in. We share a commitment to pray for mission, to learn from mission and to participate in mission with this vision before us: to see all God’s people engaged in God’s mission, bringing challenge, change, hope and freedom to the world. I hope this community handbook will help resource you to live your life of mission, knowing that you do not do so alone but with brothers and sisters the whole world over.

CMS was birthed in community, a small group of people who wanted to see a world transformed by the love of Jesus. In their day, God was doing a new thing as they challenged many injustices, not least the slave trade, and founded CMS to share the good news of Jesus more widely, starting in West Africa.

With love in Christ,

Debbie James Director of Mission Transformation Church Mission Society

As a community today, we too seek to be attentive to what God is doing in the world, to discern the “new

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2. THE CHURCH MISSION SOCIETY STORY “The missionary societies, like the religious orders, are a witness to the fact that in the exchanges of the Spirit there is no substitute for a service that is deeply personal.” Max Warren, The Missionary Task of the Church,1944

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Introduction Throughout Christian history, from the sending of Paul and Barnabas from the church in Antioch onwards, apostolic movements have been vital for the spread of the gospel. Thus bands of Celtic monks, the peregrinati, in the socalled Dark Ages, the Franciscans, the Jesuits, the Moravians and the Methodists have all been essential for the advance of the kingdom of God. Indeed there has never been a significant advance in mission without the involvement of such mission movements. Historically these “two structures of God’s redemptive mission” (Ralph D Winter 1973) – the local church and the apostolic movement – have played different but complementary roles in mission.

people of faith, including William Wilberforce and John Newton, worked together to abolish the slave trade; they fought for the rights of oppressed people at home and they launched out on dangerous seas to share Jesus with the world. So began the mission movement we know and love today. Church Mission Society has been a community committed to mission from our inception. The story of the Clapham Sect and Church Missionary Society, which they established, is a classic example of community giving birth to a mission movement. Our identity has always been that of a community. “[Church Mission Society] was a society not formed for itself, but formed for the sake of others, and formed indeed for the sake of the Lord, to love and to serve his world.” Philip Mounstephen, former executive leader

The Church Mission Society Community In the turbulent late 18th century, a group of Christians known as the Eclectic Society began meeting together to answer the question: “How can we effectively share Jesus today?” It was at one of these gatherings, on 12 April 1799, that the Society for Missions to Africa and the East was born. In 1812 the name was changed to Church Missionary Society, before eventually taking the name we have today. In the early years, this new society was supported by a group of Christians referred to as the Clapham Sect. These passionate

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Over the years the CMS community has grown. Ruanda Mission, later known as Mid-Africa Ministry (and which had always been associated with CMS), was completely incorporated within CMS in 2002. With it, it brought the particular flavour and spiritual passion of the East African Revival. In 2010 South American Mission Society (SAMS) became a part of CMS, giving us a truly global scope. The enduring legacy and commitment of SAMS

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missionaries has been a great gift to us. That commitment is exemplified by the sacrifice of Captain Allen Gardiner, who starved to death on a beach in Tierra del Fuego, in an attempt to bring the gospel to the indigenous people of the region. It was his death that provided the impetus for the founding of SAMS. In 2008 our history and nature as a mission community was officially recognised by the wider church when we became an Acknowledged Community of the Church of England.

Joining the community All community members make the following affirmation: “I’m a member of the CMS mission community because I believe God is still working in our world and I want to be part of this. I want my life to be about mission and I know that mission isn’t someone else’s job – it’s mine. I want to live for Jesus daily and I realise I need fuel for this journey. As a member of the CMS mission community I desire to help my local Christian community keep mission a priority. I also wish to join other CMS members in regularly renewing my mind and spirit and my commitment to mission.” Some members of the community will express that commitment through service as mission partners, or as mission associates, local partners or short-termers (CMS’s people in mission programmes). Most will not. It is membership of the community that primarily marks us out as being part of Church Mission Society.

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Mission remains our calling whether it is with people in far off lands or among our closest neighbours.

WHO ARE WE? OUR COMMUNITY VISION AND IDENTITY What do we want to see? Our vision is to see all God’s people engaged in God’s mission, bringing challenge, change, hope and freedom to the world. As we join in God’s mission, through Jesus, and in the power of the Spirit we see that: the love of Christ renews „„ people and places pioneering leaders forge new „„ paths of transformation people on the margins flourish „„ the healing of creation begins „„ As members of the community we work and pray together to see this vision fulfilled.

What does this vision look like in practice? We are a community of people set free to follow God’s call in mission. We believe that all of God’s people are called to join in God’s mission, whether that means going overseas or over the road, and we want to help set other people free to put their call into action.

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As a community, it is God’s mission that is our passion. Our common commitment is:

people and that is infectious. I have learned so much about mission, about God, about the world, about myself. I have been inspired by so many people I have met and in many ways I have found a home base.” Jonny Baker, director of mission education

to participate in mission „„ to learn from mission „„ to pray for mission „„ This may be made possible in many ways: in local groups, through forums with particular emphases, through social media and publications, through advocacy and campaigns. Some of these will be organised centrally via CMS staff, but overall the community is centrally resourced rather than centrally led. Each member is encouraged to work out a particular expression of their mission calling, singly or with others, wherever God may have called them to be. Like all communities we need leadership, to keep us true to our calling and our vision. And it is important that our leadership is committed to listening to the whole community. Our executive leader, who in turn is held accountable by the Church Mission Society trustees (who are community members) holds that leadership. The community also has an episcopal visitor who is appointed by the trustees with the agreement of our patron, the Archbishop of Canterbury. “I’m a member of Church Mission Society because I want to change the world and meet and collaborate with others who want to change the world. CMS seems full of this kind of people! Their motivation comes from their love for Jesus, love for the world and love for

“Being part of CMS feels more like being part of a community or even a family. We love being part of something rooted, redemptive, eye opening, world changing, community building, boundary pushing, risk taking, faith informing.” Anna and Chris Hembury, mission partners in Hull

Our core values Pioneering: we try new things, „„ ask questions, cross boundaries Evangelistic: we share Jesus in „„ word and action Relational: we get alongside „„ people, becoming a genuine part of the communities where we find ourselves Faithful: where others have „„ left or given up, we remain committed for the long-haul As a mission community, and in the fulfilment of our vision, God calls us to be such people. We commit ourselves to live by these values.

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What do we do? Our community calling

Our call is to see people set free to play their part in the mission of God. God calls people, both individually and together, to engage in his mission. Our focus is to see both individual disciples and communities of disciples set free to play their part in the mission of God. A third priority expresses our desire as a community to be as effective as we can be in delivering the first two, putting our call into action. Thus as a community we will work to set people free to play their part in the mission of God by: raising disciples in mission „„ partnering churches in „„ mission maximising our effectiveness „„ in mission “Church Mission Society understands mission – that we are all called to be witnesses to the good news, and that the way we are called to witness may be different from the way many others may expect – and celebrates, encourages and trains people to pursue these God-given vocations.” Peter Hemming – chair of the Yorkshire CMS group In all of the above we will seek to be faithful to the foundational 9

principles of the community as developed by John Venn, the first chair of CMS (paraphrased here): Follow God’s lead „„ Put prayer first, money second „„ Success depends on the „„ quality of the people answering the call of God Begin humbly and on a small „„ scale Rely on the Spirit of God „„

Stewardship and giving Throughout scripture we see constant themes of how those who consider themselves people of God and followers of Christ need to take very seriously the stewardship of the resources which have been entrusted to them. As part of this we have a hope, and expectation, that all community members take their giving seriously and prayerfully, full of gratitude for all they have been given themselves. We would also encourage all community members to consider making gifts to Church Mission Society as part of this commitment. Regular, unallocated gifts to Church Mission Society have enabled us all to engage with innovative and risky mission initiatives over many years. To give online go here: churchmissionsociety.org/give or call 01865 787489

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“Being part of this community of mission has been vital, in both senses of the word. In the times when things haven’t worked the way I expected, it has reminded me to start simply, to wait and to take small but significant steps with God. It has challenged me to wrap everything I do in prayer – in simple conversation with God. Listening to the many stories of mission – the successes and the struggles – I’ve learned that risk is something to be embraced, that stepping out into what feel like scary places with God is actually life giving and wonderful. But, it has also taught me that I can’t do these things alone, I need others, I need community.” Mark Berry – former community mission mobiliser

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3. REFLECTIONS ON GLOBAL MISSION IN THE UK Written by Marcio Ciechanovicz, CMS community mission enabler

“Outside in” mission

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Throughout its history, Church Mission Society in the UK has not only influenced mission overseas, but as we prepared and sent missionaries we were in turn influenced by their practical learning and experience. In recent years CMS has intentionally sought to learn and grow from the diversity of the global church, not only to better equip our future people in mission but to apply the knowledge on our doorstep. Different diaspora groups have arrived from all over the world, bringing their own traditions, faith backgrounds and styles of worship. God has given us many amazing resources to learn from and apply to mission in our context in this particular moment in history.

A historical opportunity UK churches, particularly in big cities, are becoming more and more diverse. At a London City Mission event with diaspora leaders last year, I heard that 50 per cent of churches in London now have a diaspora background. According to the Office for National Statistics, during the year ending September 2018, 627,000 people moved to the UK. In the Bible, we see that the movement of people groups away from their historic homelands was often part of the movement of God. Starting with Adam and Eve being removed from Eden, Abram

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going to Egypt because of famine, to Joseph sold as a slave, the entire nation of Israel leaving Egypt for the promised land, then later being displaced to Babylon, Jesus needing to flee to Egypt because of persecution right up to the early church being scattered and taking the good news with them. God often worked through migration to bless his people, preserve them and reach others. So what is the challenge for CMS? The challenge is how to engage in the advancement of God’s Kingdom in the UK with brothers and sisters who don’t speak the same language as us, and may have different theological views. They are diverse in culture, styles, customs, community approaches, church and family. How can we truly continue to grow together and participate in mission in the UK together? How is God already leading CMS to learn more about diaspora groups and become more diverse?

Hard to adapt When I left Brazil in 2016 and moved to Trento, Italy, I had a strong background from which to adapt. I already loved Italian food, coffee and all those famous romantic songs. I loved the places, arts, fashion and many other aspects of Italian culture. However, adapting to the Italian, and European, way of thinking was the hard part.

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The church that my wife and I joined was a Reformed Baptist church. I thought it would be very easy to adapt there because I am from a Baptist church in Brazil. However, the Italian church had some different theological views from my previous church. The worship style was much slower, more introspective and traditional. The sermons were not preached with the same vigour as in Latin America. They prayed differently to how we prayed in Brazil. Their vision of mission seemed to lack a sense of urgency in proclaiming the gospel among friends. I found myself becoming judgemental and criticising them often.

Hard for hosts too I was not the only one to find the process of adapting to my new context hard – it was also difficult for the church to adapt to my perspective. As soon as we arrived, my wife and I were appointed as leaders for the young adults. We started to plan activities to engage with the students such as retreats, training programmes, cinema forums, prayer meetings, evangelism and so on. I remember we proposed training in evangelism among those marginalised in the city, including refugees, the homeless and prostitutes. These were topics that challenged the church and gave the church leaders some good days of debating the future of the church.

Resilience in mission In my experience with the church in Trento, I believe God was calling us and the church to a new place. He wanted

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to reshape my theological views, and he also wanted to remodel the missional engagement of that church. The process of adapting to each other was at times painful and challenging. There were many misunderstandings and miscommunications. Nevertheless, it was a great opportunity to contemplate a new way of being the church God wanted us to be for that particular moment. It gave us all a stronger resilience in mission.

Diaspora influence at CMS Here at CMS, some of our programmes are adapting well to the presence of diaspora groups bringing greater diversity and are drawing on the gifts of the global church in the UK. Our community is made up of people who support those who have spent time overseas in mission, people committed to the cause of mission in the UK and overseas, and those who have returned to the UK after serving overseas. Those coming back to live in the UK bring with them the unforgettable experiences of their time in mission abroad, and that contributes greatly in their churches, families and community. CMS’s Pioneer Mission Leadership Training has welcomed leaders from the diaspora movement to be part of the teaching team. One of these leaders is Dr Harvey Kwiyani, who lectures in African Christianity and theology at Liverpool Hope University. Another is Shemil Mathew, who works in chaplaincy at Oxford Brookes university and is doing a PhD related to migration. Both of them bring a new perspective,

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from the “outside in”, which contributes to the depth of pioneer teaching. Our Asia Forum runs the Asia Prayer and Aware events, which attract mainly Indians and Pakistanis, cultivating relationship and trying to learn and develop mission together. Our mission partner programme benefits from the input of diaspora members such as Kailean and Kim Khongsai, who work in Southall, London. They come from Asia and are reaching out to people from many backgrounds through their care for the environment at Wolf Fields. My appointment as community mission enabler is another sign of CMS investing in becoming a diverse community. My place in the staff team (alongside a good number of other international staff based at the Oxford office) and at the heart of the community is a great sign that God is leading the organisation to grow towards diversity. I feel very welcomed here.

Crossing cultures in the UK Rev Dr Chan Nam Chen, executive director of Asia-CMS, commented on local churches and mission in an article in The Call last year (you can read the story online if you missed it). His statement could also be significant for us: “For Asia, it is important for local churches to actually engage with mission needs and opportunities right here at our doorsteps. The option for local churches to merely send money and perhaps a dedicated missionary is over.”

He added, “We can only do well if we go in to learn; to engage authentically with those of other faiths and cultures; to understand where they come from. Only as our own faith is challenged and we ourselves are changed in that learning and living process, can we be effective bearers of the gospel in all its richness.” Particularly for those of us who live in increasingly diverse areas, we should also seek to learn as we bear the gospel in our UK context.

Crossing cultures as community CMS’s core work has always been cross cultural, contextual mission. We need to continue to explore our diversity from the inside out and now from the outside in to make the most of our spiritual, cultural and historical legacy and continue to grow in mission on our doorstep. I would suggest three simple steps to help us as a community make the most of the resources God has given us to learn in diversity: Follow the Spirit: following the Spirit means allowing him to lead us. This is both very simple and very hard. It means we prioritise prayer to hear from God, but it also means that we spend time with diaspora leaders, prioritising unity. From Paul and Barnabas in Antioch we draw directions for mission with Christians from different backgrounds. They spent time together, and prayed with the leaders of the church in Antioch in order to hear God’s voice (Acts 13:1–3). Be sensitive and humble to learn: it is part our commitment in the CMS

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community to learn from mission together. We learn from what God is doing and we learn from what others are doing. We can learn, observe and grow by spending time with diaspora leaders in the UK.

However, there may be small ways we can start to offer support to them. As we do so, there may be the beginning of an opportunity to humbly learn how God has been at work in their cultural context.

I have always been aware that I don’t love what I don’t know. If we approach diaspora leaders prayerfully, being sensitive and humbly respecting the work of God in and through their lives, we will be able to see our love grow for them, and learn at the same time.

They may need help filling in a form, opening a bank account, finding the right school for their kids, finding a job. Small actions can have a huge impact in their lives. When I was studying theology at Spurgeon’s College, Jean, an amazing Christian from our small church in Farnham Common, asked me to repair various things at her house. She offered me delicious food at lunch, and also money to pay my bills, not to mention the great encouragement of our conversations, which I will never forget.

The CMS newspaper, The Call, recently included a feature entitled “We went to learn, not to help”. This told of the humble example of a group of four people from Winchester diocese who decided to visit Rwanda with the aim of being influenced by the way mission is developed in Africa. We could all learn from this example and we might not even need to leave the UK to engage in this kind of cross cultural learning. Start small: this is a very famous phrase inside CMS, because it is one of John Venn’s principles for mission. Diaspora communities face many physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Most the people coming from abroad are dealing with fear, homesickness, tiredness, isolation and disorientation. They may be missing their loved ones, or they may be missing having someone understand their jokes. We need to be sensitive to their situation.

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Conclusion God has given us a huge opportunity to use CMS’s knowledge of crosscultural mission on our doorstep here in the UK. We are trying our best to make the most of it, and we would like to invite you to continue to learn with us. We also invite you to pray and participate as the CMS community continues to grow. CMS has served the nations by sending more than 10,000 missionaries in its 220 year history. Now God is blessing the UK by sending the nations here to strengthen the Church. What a privilege to join diaspora communities in what God is doing!

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CMS’s core work has always been cross cultural, contextual mission. We need to continue to explore our diversity from the inside out and now from the outside in to make the most of our spiritual, cultural and historical legacy and continue to grow in mission on our doorstep.

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4. A SPIRITUALITY FOR MISSION NOW By Ian Adams, CMS mission spirituality adviser

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ROOTS AND STARS, RESILIENCE AND RECONCILIATION Our call to participate in Jesus’ liberating mission requires much of us. We live in a complex and demanding world. The challenges that face us as human beings are huge, threatening to overwhelm us. In such times, the Church has a particular role in bringing healing and reconciliation. As people of the Christ we must embody and proclaim the good news. And in Church Mission Society, we need to be serious about forming lives – as individuals and as community – rooted in the love of and for God, and love for neighbour, for earth and for all creation. Such lives don’t just happen. They require our attention, our commitment and our devotion. The second chapter of Philippians, with its well-known Christ-centred hymn, may be a particular gift to us in this task. Paul was writing to the church in Philippi, the first in Europe. Writing from prison, probably in Ephesus or Rome, Paul would have been acutely aware of the demanding nature of the context in which that very young church was operating. Facing suspicion and vulnerable to persecution from the empire,

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it might be easily knocked off course by internal disagreements. In this passage we find encouragement for our current task: a spirituality for mission rooted in Christ, resilient in adversity, bringing healing and reconciliation and offering us a memorable image of how to be Christ’s people in the world.

Reconciliation If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:1–4, NRSV) We are, declares Paul, in Christ, held in love, sharing in the Spirit. There’s a connection here of course to Paul’s thinking in Colossians 3:3 – where he suggests that we are “hidden with Christ in God”. This in-ness or within-ness means that we are also as one with each other (already, whether we admit it or not). So now comes the challenge: to live that unity! To be of the same mind, to have the same love. To abandon selfish ambition. And to seek the

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flourishing of others. This is of course distinctly counter-cultural. But for Paul, vital. Now as then, a spirituality for mission requires us to be identifying with our sisters and brothers in Christ, not separate from them. Whose flourishing might you be called to seek, even to your own apparent cost? How might you move in love towards another Christian community where you are?

Roots Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5–11, NRSV) Paul calls his readers/hearers in Philippi to be like Jesus. And specifically to allow

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the mind of Christ to shape them into a life-stance of self-emptying. Such kenosis seems, for Paul, to have been vital. Self-emptying may seem like a strange way of engaging with a world whose challenging nature may need us to be robust and resilient. Why not selfbuilding, or self-growing? That will follow. But first must come the self-emptying. Of all to which we may feel entitled. Of all that we have accumulated. Of our sense of control. Of our desire to fix and to explain. Even of our reputation. A spirituality for mission now requires us to empty ourselves of all upon which we rely. To fall only into the belovedness of God. Even to the point of losing it all. How might you be called to “selfempty”? How might your praying be shaped by this theme? See if you can commit this hymn to memory this year. Make it a daily prayer, so that it becomes part of you.

Resilience Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure. (Philippians 2:12–13, NRSV) If there’s a letting go required, there’s also, for Paul, a taking on and a taking up. We are called to work out our own

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salvation with fear and trembling. To face the difficult questions. A spirituality for mission for these times will require us to be serious. To articulate whatever it is that is being asked of us, and to work out how we will respond. To engage in struggle. To remain prayerful as we engage in action. To be compassionate as we resist the forces of death and destruction. To be meek – and to hunger and thirst for righteousness. What is the struggle in which you are being prompted by the Holy Spirit to engage? How will you go about this struggle?

Stars

A prayer God of St Paul and of the church in Philippi, we give thanks for this wonderful letter. Inspired by its gifts help us to nurture resilient lives of prayer and action rooted in Christ, to step closer into his unity and reconciliation, and in his name to shine like stars in and for our world. Amen In this handbook Community Prayer, Dwelling in the Word and the various prayer events listed are all great resources for helping to nurture a spirituality of mission rooted in healing.

Do all things without murmuring and arguing, so that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine like stars in the world. (Philippians 2:14–15, NRSV) What might such a spirituality for mission look like? Well, it will in God’s grace, look a lot like you. But shining! In Paul’s memorable phrase, we are called to shine like stars in the world. This is not the stardom of fame, of followers, or of likes. But the quiet shining of stars in a night sky. To participate in the lighting of the world. To illuminate our world, wherever we are, with faith, hope and love.

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5. COMMUNITY PRAYER Archbishop Desmond Tutu was asked in an interview how he managed to fit prayer into his busy international schedule. He replied, “I’m too busy to pray for less than two hours a day.” St Paul in his letter to the church in Thessalonica urged them to “pray without ceasing,” and to “give thanks in all circumstances.” He said this was the will of God for his church.

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As members of the CMS community, we commit to praying together, learning together and participating together in mission. Following are some community prayer exercises. We don’t want to be too prescriptive as to how often members should utilise these. Some members find it helpful to follow this daily, weekly and/or when they gather together with other members. Sometimes it can be helpful to follow this prayer guide as a whole, while at other times it may be helpful to reflect on one part. Become present: „„ we pray as a community Become still: „„ personal reflection Dwell in the Word: „„ receive the gift of the text Reflect on your context: „„ we pray for the world Renew your affirmation: „„ live the resurrection Be blessed: „„ as you put your call

1. BECOME PRESENT: WE PRAY AS COMMUNITY The heavenly banquet I tell you, many will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 8:11 Pause at the beginning of this Daily Prayer. Remember that in this act of prayer you are not alone, but joining with many others both in this community, and in the great community of Christ’s people around the world. Remember too that Jesus the Christ is here.

Prayer With the saints who have gone before us, with the company of saints today and with all creation,we give thanks to the Lord, now and forever.

into action today

Generous Lord, we are hungry and thirsty for you. May this prayer space become today a feast of presence, you to us and us to you, in which all are filled.

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3. DWELL IN THE WORD: RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE TEXT 2. BECOME STILL: PERSONAL REFLECTION The parable of the sower Listen! A sower went out to sow. Mark 4:3 Say, write or draw whatever you sense you need to say today. Now fall into stillness. Allow this stillness – as awkward, mundane, tough or wonderful as it may be – to be a gift to you. Let the stillness reveal discomfort and restoration, struggle and unity, anxiety and belovedness.

The heavens are telling the glory of God. Psalm 19:1 Spend time with your church’s set scripture reading(s) for this day or with the current Dwelling in the Word passage on page 26. Be alert for the gift of God’s breath and God’s word. Allow the text to question you, to shape you, and to encourage you. With the writer of Psalm 19 give attention also at some point today to that other great text: that of God’s creation.

Prayer

Prayer Christ, sower of the seeds for the healing of all creation, give me courage to bring all that I am to you today – rock, path, thorn and soil. May all become fertile ground for the tender plants of your heavenly life, bringing refuge, hope and healing.

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The gifts of revelation

Creator God help us today we pray to sense your presence and to hear your voice in your revealed word and your created world, and reshape us for good. And so may the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable to you, O Lord, our rock and our redeemer.

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4. REFLECT ON YOUR CONTEXT: WE PRAY FOR THE WORLD The crucifixion of Jesus When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals. Luke 23:33 Turn your attention to the context in which you find yourself today. Be in silence with whatever arises within you. Meditate on Christ on the cross, holding and transforming all of the losses, the pain and the evil within us and around us.

Prayer Jesus, on the cross you took into yourself all that has ever been broken, and all that ever will be broken. Into your body and into your being you took it all, you held it and you proclaimed its transformation. Help us to continue your work of healing here and now, as... Hospitality is given and received; Strangers are welcomed;

Boundaries are crossed; Lives are lived simply; Stories are told; Creation is valued; Society is transformed; Grace is realised; Community is lived And as God is honoured. Optional call and response after prayers for the world in a group: The love of Christ renews people and places and the healing of creation begins.

5. WE RENEW OUR AFFIRMATION: LIVE THE RESURRECTION The resurrection of Jesus “Why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” John 20:15 Hear Jesus’ question to Mary Magdalene again, as if it is being addressed to you. Reflect on how this might enable you to live in the spirit of his resurrection today.

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The CMS community prayer Lord, as you have entered into our life and death, and in all the world you call us into your death and risen life, forgive us our sins; and draw us, we pray, by the power and encouragement of your Spirit, into an exchange of gifts and needs, joys and sorrows, strength and weakness with your people everywhere; that with them we may have grace to break through every barrier, to make disciples of all peoples and to share your love with everyone for your glory’s sake.

So we turn our attention now to our work today, to our call in action. Speak these words of blessing upon all those in and around the community – the thousands seen and unseen – who are praying with you:

Blessing For your call in action today... May you be gifted with imagination to forge new paths of transformation.

Amen.

May any breaking be gentle, revealing the life of Christ within you.

The Lord’s prayer

And may you know, above all, that you are loved.

Our Father... The collect for the day, which can be found at www.churchofengland.org

For the love of Christ renews people and places and the healing of creation begins.

6. BE BLESSED: FOR YOUR CALL IN ACTION TODAY The feeding of five thousand He saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them. Mark 6:34 In the Father’s grace, in the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, and in Jesus’ name we are given the gift of the deserted place that we may be available to the crowd; we are fed in order to feed; served that we may serve; healed in order to heal.

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“Jesus dares us to imagine that we can learn to handle the challenges of our relationships in new ways. Though I’ll admit, it’s much easier to embrace ‘love your neighbor’ as a lofty platitude than as a practical mandate. The situations we actually face are often confusing… Real community happens with people who know us too well, who, despite all they know and the ways we disappoint them, still see our dignity and keep believing that we are being transformed by love.” Mark Scandrette, Practicing the Way of Jesus: Life Together in the Kingdom of Love

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6. DWELLING IN THE WORD We encourage community members to engage in the practice of Dwelling in the Word. This process has been developed by Church Innovations (www.churchinnovations. org) as a practice of missional churches. We use it in Church Mission Society to help us listen to God and to one another. It’s a group practice but many of the principles can be adapted for personal use.

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At the heart of Dwelling in the Word is experiencing that hearing takes time and attention. In 2019–20 we are suggesting that this passage from the book of Isaiah is one that we might dwell in together for the year. It’s exciting to imagine how, in God’s grace, this part of the Word might shape us for life and mission.

2019 Dwelling in the Word passage: Isaiah 43:16–21 This is what the Lord says – he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honour me, the jackals and owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland,

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to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.

Steps for Dwelling in the Word 1. Start with the following prayer, inviting the Holy Spirit to guide you in attending to the Word of God. Loving God, Though our destination is not yet clear, may we trust in your graceful promises; Though we may be uncertain of ourselves, may we be rooted in your loving regard; Though our attention is inclined to wander, may we hear the things you are saying; Though we often neglect your influence, may we be convicted of your power to change, In Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen 2. Turn to the passage. If you are in a group, have Bibles or copies of the passage available for everyone. 3. Slowly read the passage. In a group, one person reads the passage out loud, taking their time and then allowing some silence to let the words have their impact. 4. Reflect on what jumps out to you – something you have never heard before, something odd or something comforting.

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5. If you are in a group, find a person in the group whom we might call “a reasonably friendly-looking stranger”. We listen to that person as he or she says what they heard in the passage in a particular verse, phrase or even single word. They may mention something they’d never heard before, something odd or something comforting, or something about which they’d like to ask a Bible scholar. Listen well, because your job will be to report to the rest of the group (in fours, sixes or the whole group) what your partner has said, not what you yourself said. Some people take notes to help them focus and remember. Introduce your partner by name to the group and share what you heard them say. Enable a conversation among the

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whole group exploring what God may be saying to us today from the themes arising from the Word. 6. Spend time in quiet, asking God to help you frame what you have reflected on for the day, week, or month ahead.

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In a group setting, over time, Dwelling in the Word forms a community of the Holy Spirit, where the Spirit is a welcome and expected presence. It gives the group the chance to see that they are living a story, and that their story is a part of God’s story. It is not magical, or formulaic or prescriptive. It is holy. In God’s grace we pray that it creates the community of goodwill that opens time and space for spiritual discernment for the sake of God’s mission.

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7. COMMUNITY AFFIRMATION “But who do you say that I am?” remains one of the most powerful questions ever asked by Jesus. Our answer to it has huge implications. If our response is anything like that of the disciple Simon Peter – “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” – nothing will ever be the same again. It’s a question that calls us into joyful commitment, whatever the cost.

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We invite every community member to undertake an annual period of self-examination as part of the rhythm of life. Advent and Lent are great opportunities to renew our commitment to living and sharing the way of Jesus together as the Church Mission Society community. This involves praying for mission together, learning from mission together and participating in mission together. In all this we aim to be pioneering, evangelistic, relational and faithful.

And I wish to join other CMS members in regularly renewing my mind and spirit and my commitment to mission.

Response of the people: We recognise your affirmation, we bless you in this calling, and we commit to praying for you and with you. You are free to follow God’s call in mission. In the name of Jesus, may you bring challenge, change, hope and freedom to the world.

After a year of reflection We invite you to find a setting in which to renew your community affirmation. Ideally this might be in the company of others, perhaps in your local CMS group. You might like to use this form of the Community Affirmation: Today, with the help of God and with your prayers, I affirm my membership of the Church Mission Society community. I believe God is still working in our world. I want my life to be about mission and I know that mission isn’t someone else’s job – it’s mine. I want to live for Jesus daily and I realise I need fuel for this journey. I desire to help my local Christian community keep mission a priority.

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Following your affirmation, we suggest reflecting on a different phrase from it each day. Ponder it, talk about it, pray with it. And consider what action you could take now to enable this to happen. Our affirmation is a response to Jesus’ question, “But who do you say that I am?” We affirm our desire to follow him in the context of the Church Mission Society community. We of course are not Simon Peter and we are not the rock on which Christ’s church is built. But we are nevertheless, in Jesus’ name, privileged to play some small part in that wonderful ever-unfolding story.

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8. COMMUNITY GUIDE

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Community vision day Each year we hold a community vision day. This is an opportunity for members to share in the vision for the year ahead. The community vision event for 2019 will be part of the commissioning of Alastair Bateman as the new chief executive officer of CMS on 8 June. You can find further information at churchmissionsociety.org/events

Contact with members of the community We are very encouraged by the number of new members who have joined the community recently. It could be that there are CMS members in your area who are not yet known to you. Part of the joy of being in the CMS community is meeting up and contacting our fellow members. We want to enable this as much as possible, while at the same time respecting the privacy of individuals and our obligations under data protection legislation. We are able to provide an up-to-date list of members to help you make contact with other members in your area and to publicise local events. To receive a contact list, please email community@churchmissionsociety. org or phone 01865 787496. We will send you a document entitled Sharing Contact Data with the Church Mission Society Community: Our Policy, which contains all the information you need.

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We believe that meeting with other like-minded people inspires us to pray for mission, learn from mission and participate in mission. There may be members in your area who are new to CMS, so when you are planning your next event do contact us for an up-to-date list. Please also let us know so we can include the event on the website and in The Call.

Planning meetings The CMS mission transformation team are keen to support your meetings. Occasionally there are local meetings arranged that clash with other Church Mission Society events, which can make it difficult for the staff team to attend. If you are organising a local gathering and would like a member of staff to visit, please contact us.

Conferences Regional conferences are a great way to meet up with a larger group of like-minded people and to benefit from hearing from people in mission in various parts of the world. We’d like to think that these annual conferences are within reasonable geographical reach of most of our members, with conferences held in Derbyshire, Hertfordshire and Wales and occasional one-day gatherings in Scotland, not forgetting the Africa and Latin America conferences. For any information on events and gatherings please contact community@churchmissionsociety. org or phone 01865 787496. |

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CMS GROUPS Groups provide opportunities for community members to get together for prayer, learning and participation in mission. Group listings can also be found on churchmissionsociety.org under the Get Involved tab.

Scotland Scottish Fellowship Catherine Stewart: 0141 942 5343 Edinburgh Liz Traill: 01620 894843 Glasgow Barbara Walker: 0141 775 2521

North West Cumbria and North Lancashire Linda Hunter: 07842 768029 Liverpool 18 Chris Warren: 0151 724 2316 Liverpool Waterloo Gillian Prescott: 0151 474 8921 Manchester Sally Ashcroft: 0161 790 4337

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Sodor and Man Elaine Litherland: 01624 673458 South east Cheshire Dave Lloyd: 01260 271665 Stockport Wendy Williamson: 01614 833933

Yorkshire and Humber CMS Yorkshire Peter Hemming: 01132 782735 Harrogate Tim Cundy: 01423 569135 Hull Allen Bagshawe: 01482 702220 Leeds Audrey Dickinson: 0113 270 0272 Sheffield Gill and Peter Lee: 0114 230 5555

Wales Wales and the Borders Gillian Knight: 01792 736159

East Midlands Hinckley Gill Priestly: 01455 634993 Mid-Northants Joan Botterill: 01933 350126

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West Midlands Birmingham Ann M Bower: 01564 775790 Malvern Alison Sheehan-Hunt: 01684 566601 Shropshire Robert Parsons: 01939 291494 Worcester Nick Fane: 01684 566601

South and East East Beccles Dr Keith Wragg: 01502 717169 NE Ipswich Dianne Davey: 01473 726706 NW Ipswich Sheila Hancock: 01473 256964 Norwich Louise Wright: 01508 536940 Saffron Walden Sue Walker: 01799 523007 St Albans Susan Drummond: 01727 857620

South East Bexhill-on-Sea John Fowler: 01424 222148


Bournemouth Joan Mosley: 01202 421731 Chichester Mary Gostling: 01243 863932 East Dean Lynn Sculpher: 01323 422142 Eastbourne Jean M Wright: 01323 639507 Emsworth John Harwood: 01243 372215 Fareham and Gosport Robin Green: 01329 662113 Farnham and Aldershot Helen Black: 01252 316170 Jersey Franรงois Le Maistre: 01534 481034 Maidenhead Paul Darrall: 01344 886872 Maidstone and Malling Anne Passmore: 01622 726237 Oxford Wendy Slaymaker: 01865 760308 Worthing Sue Finlayson: 01903 773504

South West

Groups are the heartbeat of our community life. We are always keen to encourage new groups to form and are happy to offer support. Please contact Barbara Oakley if we can help in any way: barbara.oakley@ churchmissionsociety.org

Bristol Jill Singyard: 01179 520993 Salisbury Barbara Oakley: 01694 724225 Taunton Fred Sage: 01823 276797

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NOTES

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The call in action

CMS ONLINE churchmissionsociety.org pioneer.churchmissionsociety.org

FACEBOOK PAGES: Church Mission Society (CMS), Spirit of Mission, Pioneer Hub at CMS, Missional Communities, Orders and Projects Hub at CMS, CMS Link Contacts (group)

TWITTER: @cmsmission

INSTAGRAM: @churchmissionsociety @mission_is

The call in action CH URCHM I SSI ONSOC I E T Y.ORG

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CHURCH MISSION SOCIETY BELIEVES THAT ALL OF GOD’S PEOPLE ARE CALLED TO JOIN IN GOD’S MISSION: TO BRING CHALLENGE, CHANGE, HOPE AND FREEDOM TO OUR WORLD. AS A COMMUNITY OF PEOPLE IN MISSION, WE WANT TO HELP AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE BE SET FREE TO PUT THIS CALL INTO ACTION – WHETHER THAT MEANS GOING OVERSEAS OR OVER THE ROAD.

Church Mission Society, Watlington Road, Oxford, OX4 6BZ T: +44 (0)1865 787400 churchmissionsociety.org

E: info@churchmissionsociety.org

/churchmissionsociety

@cmsmission

Church Mission Society is a mission community acknowledged by the Church of England. Registered in England and Wales, charity number 1131655, company number 6985330.

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Profile for Church Mission Society

Church Mission Society Community Handbook 2019  

Information and inspiration for members of the Church Mission Society community.

Church Mission Society Community Handbook 2019  

Information and inspiration for members of the Church Mission Society community.

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