Mark MacDonald is the National Indigenous Anglican Bishop for Canada. This conversation with Alan Roxburgh contrasts the indigenous understanding of the moral and spiritual significance of land with the emphasis on contract, ownership and resource in western culture. For indigenous people 'land' describes something more akin to ‘ecosystem’, all the relationships which create and sustain life in a place. The land is holy, loved by God...
Mark Macdonald explains that land is essential for healing, and also for the identity and resistance of indigenous people under the onslaught of western culture. For indigenous people the land is not inert. The Spirit infuses the land, there is personality, locality and unique relationship. Alan Roxburgh and Mark MacDonald go on the wrestle with the question of response. Christians must articulate their own ancient stories of land and people, but the time is short.
Andrea Campanale, with other local Christians set up ‘Sacred Space’ as a way to reach spiritual seekers in their town. They organized artistic events which had the potential to open up questions of faith and Andrea learned a form of Christian ‘card reading’, which made a way into faith conversations. In conversation with Martin Robinson and Mary Publicover Andrea used the language of ‘space’ (Sacred Space) to describe the opportunities they created for talk and listening and, she felt, divine encounter.
Danny Fong is founding pastor of a church plant in San Francisco, in The Bayview neighborhood. He describes this, in his conversation with Mark Lau Branson, as one of the abandoned places of the empire. It has long been a community of migrants and a place of poverty and racial tension. Danny’s church planting team had first felt a call towards the neglected fringes of the city fifteen years ago, but as a community of Chinese-Americans, had been warned away...
Sally Mann, JMP Editorial Board Member, in conversation with Alan Roxburgh around crumbling ecclesial structures and the billboard metaphor. What is the new language we can use about this strange hopeful space we are in? How do we begin to give language to our own roles in this new space? In this conversation, context and community emerge as two keys to the answers.
Sally Mann and Alan Roxburgh continue to discuss mission and church "beyond the billboard". They wonder what church leadership may look like in our radically new and changing contexts. Sally proposes some challenging practices which may help a church leader take on a more open posture within the community.
Sally Mann and Alan Roxburgh continue their conversation about mission and church 'beyond the billboards'. They remember Acts 16 and the story of Lydia 'outside the walls' and wonder who Lydia is for us today. Lydia will not walk into our churches, but God is at work within her. When we do engage with her new ways of thinking about church will emerge. But Sally warns that this newness will often emerge among the poor and that in itself may be challenging.
How might God be leading us in this time and place?
On March 31, 2017 we held our first virtual conversation Around the Table to invite others to join us in reflecting upon the work of the Spirit in recent JMP stories. A full recording of the webinar and shorter clips to view and share can be found on our YouTube channel.
A central gospel metaphor for mission is hospitality. Jesus’ ministry was often conducted at an open table, it was ‘porous’, but how hospitable is the church in her central practice, the Eucharist? Which practices and postures do ready us to listen attentively among the many stories which confront us? Paul Weston and Mark Lau Branson raise these questions in two short clips from our Around the Table Webinar.