Christ is Risen!
A very happy Easter to you. We hope that your journey through Lent, Holy Week and Easter has been blessed by drawing closer to God. May you know the risen Christ breathing the Holy Spirit upon you during this Easter season.
In this newsletter, we share some of the exciting new developments for Reconciliation Initiatives (RI), including opportunities for you to connect with our work.
Joining the Community of the Cross of Nails
We held our first annual Reconciling Mission Conference at Coventry Cathedral on 22 March. It was wonderful to be able to gather together in person with most of the first and second cohorts participating in the Reconciling Mission programme.
While at the Cathedral, we were also privileged to mark the occasion of RI joining the Community of the Cross of Nails (CCN). As a member of CCN, RI trustees and staff committed themselves and the organisation to work and pray for peace, justice and reconciliation.
After a short liturgy, which included all those present joining in the Cathedral’s Litany of Reconciliation, the Dean presented RI with our Cross of Nails. It’s a beautiful, physical reminder of the commitments made and a symbol of our membership of CCN. We are grateful to John Witcombe, the Dean, and Alice Farnhill, CCN Coordinator, for making this possible.
Thought for the Week
Prior to the Reconciling Mission Conference, our Director, Alastair McKay, offered a Thought for the Week for the CCN network. In this short video, Alastair introduces the work of RI. It’s a simple summary of our current mission and programmes – so please do watch. And share with any friends or contacts who might be interested.
The Impact of Reconciling Mission
At our Conference, we also heard reflections from the participants in the inaugural Reconciling Mission programme. Reporting on the impact of the programme, the Bishops of Gloucester, Llandaff, and Brechin (on behalf of the whole Scottish Episcopal Church), and the Dean of Coventry, joined their diocesan or provincial participants in making presentations.
Independent researcher, Dr Joanna Sadgrove, also presented the Executive Summary of her in-depth evaluation report on the programme’s impact. Her findings are profoundly insightful, and are informing the continued development of the Reconciling Mission programme. Do read her conclusions and be encouraged and inspired. (Note that the comments quoted in the report are from programme participants, and do not necessarily reflect RI’s own views.)
“For the majority of the participants, the Reconciling Mission programme has played a significant role in challenging, affirming and changing their approaches to ministry and community-engagement.”
Next webinar: Bishops in Dialogue – revisited
The next webinar in our partnership series with HeartEdge is at 2pm on Tuesday 3rd May.
A year on from the original webinar, this conversation between Bishops from four Anglican Provinces in Britain and Ireland, will revisit some of the challenges and opportunities presented by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, post-Brexit. Together, they’ll explore how we continue to face loss, what opportunities exist for addressing justice and equality more squarely, and how we can keep bridge-building across national boundaries.
Our speakers are:
- Andrew Swift, Bishop of Brechin (Scottish Episcopal Church)
- June Osborne, Bishop of Llandaff (Church in Wales)
- Kenneth Kearon, former Bishop of Limerick & Killaloe (Church of Ireland)
- Robert Innes, Bishop of Gibraltar, Diocese in Europe (Church of England)
Watch the previous webinar: Being Better Neighbours
Our first webinar of 2022, back in February, unpacked how Christians and churches can be better neighbours to those in our local communities. In conversation were Al Barrett, Vicar of Hodge Hill (Birmingham Diocese), Karen Lund, Archdeacon of Manchester and Tom Wilson, Director of St Philip’s Centre, Leicester, facilitated by our Director, Alastair McKay.
Watch the recording of Being Better Neighbours on our YouTube channel.
Finally, we welcome your prayers for Reconciliation Initiatives. In particular for:
- Wisdom and insight as we renew exploring collaborative work in Kenya and East Africa, in partnership with local people and organisations;
- Doors to open to receive our new racial justice programme, entitled Being White, to enable white church leaders to address white advantage and promote racial justice in parish and diocese; and
- Discernment and clarity as RI expands the staff team, and works at a sustainable pattern of increased work load.
Thank you for remembering us in your prayers. May you be blessed as you join us in God’s reconciling work.