RMS 2017 quotes and stories

The highlight of our summer is Rural Mission Sunday, an annual opportunity for rural churches to celebrate who they are. In 2017 over 300 churches from across the denominations registered to take part on (or around) Sunday 16 July and stories are starting to trickle in. Here are a few that have made it into our inbox…

For information about this year’s event click here.

CW76 Sharing Faith resources section

Each edition of Country Way magazine contains a pull-out resources section. Here are a selection of resources designed to help you share faith in your rural community.

CW76: Bearing good news starts with being good news

Evangelism is simply the process of sharing good news. The term ‘pre-evangelism‘ suggests that before the good news about Jesus can be shared, something else needs to happen in order for the hearer to be receptive to the good news we’d like to share. While some prayerful thought and a sensitive approach is needed when sharing our faith, I find myself reflecting on the account of Jesus’ encounter with a Samaritan woman at a well in John 4, and wondering when the evangelism began in this story.

CW76: Borderlands Rural Chaplaincy

Borderlands Rural Chaplaincy (BRC) is an ecumenical partnership between the Diocese of Hereford and the Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury District of the Methodist Church set up to offer pastoral care and outreach to farmers, farming families and agricultural communities principally within Hereford and South Shropshire.

CW76: Can mission be comfortable?

The call to share in God’s mission has been a key challenge in churches across the denominations over recent years. National and regional initiatives have been promoted. People have been appointed and tasked with making churches more missional. However, for many small rural congregations this often feels uncomfortable, if not threatening. Given some appropriate support, it can become a joy.

CW76: Church – not just for Christmas!

Churches and church schools can be the hub of community life, especially at Christmas. But how do we make sure that Church is not just for Christmas?

HOPE is working with churches across the spectrum of denominations to make Jesus known in 2018. HOPE’s dream is a growing church, showing Jesus’ love and telling the Jesus story at the heart of every community. HOPE is committed to supporting and resourcing churches to make 2018 a year in which we see the Church grow throughout the UK.

CW76: Evangelism: The overflow of a grateful heart

A former colleague of mine, the late Revd Canon Marion Mort, said these words at a conference called Making Christ Known. I have never forgotten them:

‘Mission is one and it is God’s mission. We are invited to share in his work of reconciliation, and that reconciliation was achieved by the blood of the cross. We come therefore as Christ’s Ambassadors, delivering the message of the King in the language of those to whom we are sent. It is therefore about moving on from where we are, or even sometimes going back to the community from which we came.’

CW76: If you want to reach out… open the door!

Jo Hibbard, Trustee of the Churches Visitor & Tourism Association and Director of Engagement for The Methodist Church in Britain, explores the value to mission and evangelism of opening our churches to visitors.

‘Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks of the year, church buildings proclaim “God is in the midst”,’ asserts Canon John Brown, Chair of Churches Visitor & Tourism Association (CVTA). ‘Church buildings are far more in the forefront of mission than any congregation or evangelist!’

CW76: Making a Journey to Faith

In his inaugural address as President of the Methodist Conference in Southport in 2015, Revd Steve Wild challenged each Methodist church in Britain to aim to bring just one person to faith in the coming year, saying:

‘Let’s take God seriously. I want to help us in the task of evangelism, to put mission on the agenda and give our churches an aim to win a person for Christ.’

CW76: Pioneering Community Chaplaincy in Melton Mowbray

The Community Chaplaincy team, pioneered and funded by Melton Mowbray Baptist Church (MMBC) and supported by the other local churches, can be found in their distinctive blue hoodies around Melton each Tuesday and Wednesday where they encourage people to stop them for a chat over a cup of coffee and find out more about Christianity.