The Plague and the Parish

 

John 17:11-19

Dear Friends, 

Welcome to a special edition of our newsletter as we celebrate Pentecost. As Pope Francis said last year, we are not living through an era of change but a change of era. We are entering a new chapter in the history of the world, and of the church. The scale of the challenge before us demands a careful response. 

Many people are asking us “how should the church respond?” If we are to act effectively and faithfully it is vital to understand what is taking place and how it is different from what went before. To address this, T4CG has been working in partnership with our friends at theJournal of Missional Practice (JMP) and the Common Good Foundation.

We think God is calling the churches into the local, to rediscover their role as civic institutions, to act alongside friends and neighbours to defend the space where human beings flourish. It may require some rewiring and a revitalising of the Christian imagination. It needs to begin with a sense of a humble church and the recognition of shared vulnerability.

As a starting place we offer you a letter: The Plague and the ParishThis is an invitation, a call for the church to renew its vocation. We invite you to read, listen and share your responses with us. What questions does this raise for you? We want to hear from you.

Alongside this, this edition includes a powerful reflection by Andrew Rumsey whose daily walks deepen his understanding of the historic relationship between the parish, people and place. We are also delighted to bring you a moving testimony by William Taylor about his community’s way of honouring the lives of neighbours in his parish lost to Covid-19.

The invitation shared with you here builds upon Preparing for a New Chapter, a trans-Atlantic webinar co-hosted with JMP featuring our mutual friend Maurice Glasman. We were overwhelmed by the response and the comments we received have shaped our thinking.

Also in this edition, we share the latest news on T4CG’s young adults, plus, as ever, our latest recommended reading, podcasts and our Signs of the Times section with links to some timely articles. 

Before us is the great task of civic renewal. To help you and your community play your part we have created some new resources, free for you to download. You will find a short six session course, The Word and the Common Good, and also our new Examen for the Common Good. We pray they inspire you to strengthen the bonds of trust where you live and work. 

Holy Spirit, come upon us. Breathe new life into us. Help us to build up rather than break down. Call us into New Life, through the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.


Together for the Common Good

This is from our Pentecost 2020 newsletter.