The sound of broken pots accompanied one of the experiences at the Fresh Expressions Cumbria gathering on the 10th November, as we were led in a session based on a local cafe church in Brough. This was just one of the local stories we heard over the course of the day, also hearing about a food initiative on the West Coast, a school Eucharist in rural Eskdale and a spot of clothes sorting with Carlisle OpShops. With additional theological input and some fantastic poetry from Ruth Wells, and insight and a Shhhh experience from Andy Freeman from Space to Breathe, it was a great day. In the afternoon there was a reflective session based on the temptation of Christ looking at three themes: Resisting the Power to possess, the power to provide and the power to perform, for which we created 3 self-led small group resources: ‘people not products’, ‘with not for’ and ‘serving not performing’. These were well received and as such we are pleased to offer these out as a resource, if you are interested please email Richard Passmore. In the evening we had a smaller gathering for pioneers, poetry and pie! If you’d like to know more about Fresh Expressions Cumbria please email Richard, or join our Cumbria Fresh Expressions Facebook Group.
A fantastic day was spent with The Two Rivers Mission Community on 22nd September as they engaged with the Moving Forward workshop- Catching the Vision.
A mix of people from all of the churches in the community both lay and ordained worked together on a variety of activities to support their mission community development.
“First rate” “ easily understandable, prepared and presented well”, “Thought provoking and challenging”
Are just some of the feedback captured from the day.
I encourage all mission communities to get in touch and sign up for these workshops.
Jane Maycock- CCL- firstname.lastname@example.org
Emma Richardson- REACH- email@example.com
Patterdale Anglican and Methodist churches came together on Sunday 16th September for a family fun day and songs of praise outdoor service. Children engaged with many activities all based around the Lost Sheep parable. A child friendly worship time included a story , songs and prayer time. Refreshments were served and then led into a more traditional songs of praise type service.
It was wonderful to see the usual Sunday congregation doubled in size and to include so many children and families with little or no connection to the church. this reaching out was seen to be a huge success and thoughts are going onto planning what’s next.
People were inspired to encourage congregations to connect Sunday services with Whole Life Worship after attending a day hosted by Sam Hargreaves from Engage Worship.
"Lots of ideas that are easily applicable – I look forward to using some of them." - day participant
Resources highlighted on the day can be accessed here.
13 months in the planning. 40 senior church leaders in the county. 33 church groupings involved. Five launch meetings. Four preparation booklets. 15,000 gospels printed. 500 events run. 30,000 people contacted. 10,000 schoolchildren engaged. Four wonderful days of mission.
Just some of the headlines from the Moving Mountains 2018 mission. For a full low-down on the mission, please click on the final report above, which has just been published.
Glorious weather accompanied the South Lakes Mini Pilgrims to South Walney nature reserve. he enjoyed time together in this 'thin place' watching Sandwich Terns, Oyster Catchers and Seals.
Mini Pilgrims is one of the Mountains Pilgrims groups which seeks to "meet outside to discover the 'thin places' where the spirit soars and we are lifted out of the everyday". To find out more visit the Mountain Pilgrims website.
Hundreds of families joined in Cumbria's biggest Messy Church at Rheged visitor centre near Penrith on Sunday 11th March, organised as part of the larger county-wide Moving Mountains weekend. One hundred volunteers spent the day ensuring the whole Messy Church ran smoothly. Messy Church Leaders from across Cumbria, volunteers from local churches and several young leaders, spend the day offering a who range of free activities around the theme of 'Finding God's Love'. The fun on offer included a lost sheep treasure hunt, cleaning dirty pennies in the Messy science zone, exploring the virtual land of Ancora in the gaming zone, decorating heart shaped biscuits, making a 'Marbellous musical instrument' in the woodcraft zone, drumming in the music zone, making biodegradable pots and planting seeds as part of the craft zone. There were also various pop up activities on offer throughout the day, including a 'God thinks you're gorgeous' selfie station, lunchtime cafe table-talk activities, prayer stations and some roving entertainment from Thomas Trilby. Three celebrations occurred throughout the day in the lecture theatre, each gather families to explore a different lost and found parable.
To find out more about Messy Cumbria click here.
Meet Gill Grisedale, a Community Pastor at St Mark’s Church in Barrow-in-Furness.
She stepped out in faith, gave up her previous job and is now working for the church in one of Cumbria’s most deprived parishes.
From lunch clubs to clothes banks and knit-and-natter drop-in sessions for community groups, Gill is helping outreach right across the parish.
Gill says: “I pray to God each day to use me and make His brew inside me and then I’ve just got to go out there in the community and pour out that brew. I don’t have to worry about saying the right thing or the wrong thing because if it;’s God-centred and I just let God pour it out then it will just be perfect.”
From the Munchie Mark's lunch Club through to the Musical Mark’s Community Choir, Gill – through God – is reaching out with love.
Watch the film below to see how God is working through Gill as she helps some of those most in need.
James Edgell is a Children and Families Worker. He worked for Eden Churches before moving to Ipswich.
I was very blessed to be brought up in a Christian home with parents who loved God and who displayed God’s love by the way they loved me. I also grew up in a very large Baptist church in Essex and every Sunday I would go to Sunday school.
It was in April 1993 that my family took me to Spring Harvest and it was at the kids’ group, called Whizz Kids, that I actually made a personal commitment to Jesus.
When I finished sixth form – having done one year of sixth form – and I ventured out into the real world and got a job at a local supermarket, just round the corner from my house, I started to think ‘What’s life all about? What does it mean to be living this life?’. At this point in time I was still part of my church, now teaching Sunday school and declaring to others at church that I was a Christian. But I found myself living very differently, very distant from God. God did not have much of a play in the decisions I made.
I made that conscious decision to say ‘Am I going to carry on, living the way I was living, making selfish choices and decisions that were casing me pain?’ or am I going to say to God ‘God I’m sorry. Will you forgive me and can we start again?’.
I was invited to go on a sports ministry tour of the USA. A local guy from my church was involved in sports ministry in this country and invited me to spend some time in the States, coaching some football and teaching children about the love of God. I went on this tour in 2004 and it changed my life. I developed a deeper level of love for God.
In 2008 I moved down to Moorlands Bible College and started my four year course in children and family work with applied theology and it was there that I really began to see my relationship with God grow. In my final year at Moorlands we got the opportunity to go and do an overseas placement and serve within a ministry context.
One of the ministries that I was really excited about was Urban Promise. They are based in Camden in New Jersey and they work with children in the most deprived and violent city in America. Seeing how much time, effort and care they put into every single child that comes to their programmes shows to me that they follow and worship a God that cares for that person as an individual.
It was in May 2013 that I applied for the job of the Eden Churches’ Children and Families Worker so that I could really get stuck into a ministry context. Sharing the love of God with these children is a real joy, seeing how they engage with the Bible and how their eyes widen as they see how Jesus engages with different people.
Having God in my life means I can face anything with His help. Everything I go through in my life, every struggle, every challenge that I face, I know that God is with me. We know that as Christians we have the hope that one day God will restore all things and that we will be with Him in Heaven.
For me this is such an exciting thing. It is what drives my work with children and families; that God wants us to know His love.