Posted by Caroline Herbert, 5 Jun 2020
Caroline Herbert reviews this collection of seven stories of ordinary women ministering in extraordinary ways, edited by Sharon Dickens from 20Schemes.
UNEXCEPTIONAL: Ordinary women doing extraordinary things through God
Sharon Dickens (ed.)
The subtitle sums it up: ordinary women doing extraordinary things through God. Ordinary women, who are serving God faithfully and sacrificially in their communities in Scotland, England and the United States and who want to encourage other women to do the same. As might be expected for a book coming out of 20schemes, the focus is on ministry in schemes/housing estates/projects (choose the appropriate term for your geographic location) but the wisdom shared in this book can be applied to all contexts.
This is not a book about how to run a women’s ministry programme, with evangelistic events, Bible studies and day conferences. Instead, it focuses on the Titus 2 model of mature Christian women discipling other women (whilst covering plenty of other ground as well). This conviction is the same as that set out in Furman and Nielson’s Word-filled women’s ministry (Crossway, 2015). However, while Furman and Nielson envisage a more formal programmatic approach, Unexceptional often has in view something simpler and more organic.
What happens next
Posted by George Crowder, 4 Jun 2020
George Crowder suggests some questions for smaller churches to consider in the next few weeks and months.
In a smaller church, like the church I serve in, operationally and pastorally we are - more often than not - hand to mouth. We have been in crisis mode for the last few months, but it’s less of a philosophical change than we might like to admit. Rarely out of a crisis mindset, for a small church it’s just more intense these days.
I’m sure, despite this, Vicars, Wardens and PCCs around the country have started meeting on Zoom and having interesting, if rather speculative, discussions about what to do next. Amidst all the shrugging of shoulders and furrowing of brows, there is a genuine desire for being back in one room together one day, and, yes, whatever it takes, keeping going in the interim. I think it is worth calling the meeting even if that’s all that comes of it, but there are some other useful things which can be established, even at this stage.
Below is a ready reckoner that is helping our PCC with those discussions, which I have cobbled together by listening to what other ministers have been doing. If you haven’t got something to work with already, then it might be a helpful starting point.
Photo by Photo by Gabriel Benois on Unsplash
Priscilla Programme Update
Posted 3 Jun 2020
The Priscilla Programme is now accepting applications for September 2020
We are delighted to announce that the Priscilla Programme is now accepting applications for students to begin in September 2020. More information about the course can be found here and the application form is available here. We have various online seminar groups, which allow students to study from anywhere, but there is also a local group based in Sheffield and other local groups planned for September. Please get in touch with Ros Clarke for more information.
Download the flyer here.