The Spirit blows where it chooses
The Holy Spirit can’t be controlled. But we can attune ourselves to the way that the Spirit is blowing, listening to how it’s at work in the world, and seeking to align ourselves and join in with what God is doing. That’s at the heart of what we facilitate through our Reconciling Mission programme.
We’re glad to offer in this newsletter the latest updates about Reconciliation Initiatives (RI), and the opportunities for you to connect with our work.
Reconciling Mission: 3rd Cohort Starts
The third cohort of participants begin the latest Reconciling Mission programme on Sunday 3 July at Launde Abbey. This year we have a full cohort, and the largest contingent yet, with 25 participants drawn from six dioceses: Durham, Lincoln, Monmouth, Newcastle, Southwark and York.
We’re delighted to have dioceses from the Province of York participating for the first time, along with our third diocese from the Church in Wales. This cohort will be the most diverse yet, and another group of highly gifted leaders, offering real promise for a stimulating group to be working and learning together with.
For this initial residential week, our visiting speakers include Rosemarie Mallett, the new Bishop of Croydon, who will be leading a Bible study for us. Other visiting speakers are Catherine Morgan Hickey of HeartEdge, Jenny Sinclair of Together for the Common Good, and Frauke Eicker of Partnership for Missional Church at CMS.
As in previous years, Al Barrett and Paul Wright will lead five sessions on working with an Asset-Based Community Development approach to the church’s missional task. This is centred on deep listening to our neighbours, unearthing treasure within our communities, and working in partnership with others beyond the church.
New Racial Justice Programme: Being White
Our director, Alastair McKay, has been working for three and a half years on developing a racial justice programme, in partnership with Carey Haslam. The programme is called Being White. It’s designed to help those among us who identify racially as white to take a closer look in the mirror and accept responsibility for bringing about change, rather than looking to people of colour to do the work for us, as in the past.
Now that the programme has been piloted in three different diocesan contexts, the RI Trustees have approved integrating the Being White programme into RI’s offerings. Full details are available on our Racial Justice webpage. It begins with an initial 1-day workshop, followed by three online conversations over a five-month period.
A key aim is to better resource Anglican participants to address racism and white advantage inside our churches, deaneries and dioceses, in order to contribute to greater equality and social justice, and embrace greater diversity as a joyful aspect of the kingdom of heaven.
If you’re interested in exploring whether our Being White programme might be useful in your context, please contact our new Racial Justice Lead, Carey Haslam.
Our Expanding Team to Facilitate Growing Work
RI’s work is growing, and we’re expanding our core team to enable us to take this forward. We’re truly delighted that three of our associates are coming on board with formal roles with RI, while remaining self-employed. They are:
Barbara Macnish, who is now our Network and Development Lead, as well as the co-facilitator of our Reconciling Mission residential and subsequent Action Learning Groups. Barbara is an independent coach, mediator and facilitator with a background in cross-cultural church planting. She has over 13 years’ experience consulting with teams and individuals in churches, charities and businesses.
Carey Haslam, who is now our Racial Justice Lead (see above). Carey is a highly experienced trainer and facilitator in conflict resolution, mediation and diversity, with over 30 years in the field. She is also an Associate Consultant and Trainer with enei. Previously she was a Senior Manager and Lead Trainer with Leap Confronting Conflict, and co-authored Leap’s training manual, Playing with Fire.
Jill Andrews, who is now our Communications Lead. Jill is organising RI’s external communications work, including our quarterly newsletters, website updates and social media output. With extensive experience across both business and charity sectors, Jill runs Just Ask Jill, focusing on helping sole traders, small businesses and charities with the tasks they don’t have the time, energy or skills to do themselves.
In due course, we also hope to appoint a Kenyan lead facilitator to take forward our collaborative work in Kenya.
Finally, we welcome your prayers for Reconciliation Initiatives. In particular for:
- Alastair McKay and Barbara Macnish as they facilitate the Reconciling Mission residential at Launde Abbey, from 3-8 July, and for the 25 participants from six different dioceses;
- Doors to open to engage with our Being White racial justice programme, to enable white church leaders to address white advantage and promote racial justice in parish and beyond;
- Our growing team, Barbara Macnish, Carey Haslam and Jill Andrews, as they join Alastair McKay and Debbie Niblett in taking forward RI’s work;
- Wisdom and insight as we explore collaborative work in Kenya, especially for meetings in Nairobi on 25 July, and for meetings with a couple of Kenyan Bishops in the sidelines of the Lambeth Conference.
Thank you for remembering us in your prayers. May you be blessed as you join us in God’s reconciling work.