New reality, same Mission: a stimulus to renewed community engagement as we emerge from the pandemic

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A free booklet to enable individuals and local churches to explore questions of community presence and engagement and social justice in the new reality which we all face.

The URC’s Church Related Community Work, Mission and Discipleship teams, along with Church Action on Poverty, have produced a new booklet to enable individuals and local churches to explore questions of community presence and engagement and social justice in the new reality which we all face.

The coronavirus pandemic has changed our reality. As lockdown begins to ease in different ways across the UK, the synod moderators of the United Reformed Church (URC) have produced a very helpful booklet, Ready for the new ‘normal’ – a discussion paper for a pandemic recovery and resumption plan, to help local churches prepare for the coming days, weeks and months. 

The booklet asks key questions, theological and pragmatic, and has as its main focus immediate practical issues about organising worship and use of buildings. It also begins to open up questions about community presence and engagement, asking, ultimately:

 

‘What can you do differently to express more fully
God’s love in word and action?’

To complement the discussion booklet produced by the moderators, this booklet is offered by members of the URC’s Church Related Community Work, Mission and Discipleship teams, along with Church Action on Poverty, to enable individuals and local churches to explore, in more detail, questions of community presence and engagement and social justice in the new reality which we all face.

We believe that Christians and churches are called to demonstrate God’s love to our neighbours, and to collaborate towards building flourishing communities, so that people may live ‘life in all abundance’ (John 10:10). This is particularly important in this moment of crisis, reflection and rebuilding.

There are, of course, many wonderful examples of this kind of mission and ministry happening through local churches and community groups already, some of which are included here to offer inspiration. You are probably already actively involved with a local community initiative, voluntary group or network. If you have a story, example or information to share, please let us know.

Church, as we have known it, is already different, and will continue to be different from now onwards. How will you reflect upon the challenges of this pandemic and discern what might have to be organised and delivered differently, with renewed priorities for mission and ministry going forward?

What the booklet covers

The booklet covers the following areas: 

1. Starting where we are: a model for responding to the new reality

2. Experience

  • Poverty under lockdown
  • What’s happening in our neighbourhoods and local communities? 
  • Listening to those most affected by this crisis 

3. Exploration 

  • Working in partnership
  • Supporting one another 

4. Reflection

  • What does God ask of us?
  • What do we have to offer?

5. Action

  • Ideas for responding
  • What comes next?

6. Useful resources and support agencies

7. Where can I find more information?

Download the booklet below: 

Hear what people are saying about the 'new reality'

To hear what other people are saying about the ‘new reality’, and to continue the conversations that have been started from reading this booklet, please visit: www.urc.org.uk/same-mission.

June 2020

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