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 Godâ€™s Kingdom in the UK with brothers and sisters who donâ€™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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Information and inspiration for members of the Church Mission Society community.