It is stories that transform our lives. But we have largely given over the awareness of our lives to experts and so-called professionals who, so the reasoning goes, because of their training, expertise and degrees, know our minds. We have to discover, again, how to share and listen to the stories buried, and often lost, within us. As God’s people we believe it is within such stories that the Spirit is fermenting imagination and life.
Sally Mann and Alan Roxburgh lead this conversation which keeps a hopeful focus on what God is doing Beyond the Billboard. The billboard is a manufactured thing, a commodity, and it may mask a beautiful view beyond. Sally and Alan wonder if we have tended to treat our churches and our faith as a kind of billboard. There are brands and programmes and ideas, but...
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.
In a fifth clip from this conversation Alan Roxburgh puts a challenge to Bishop Mark MacDoanld that concerns for land are not relevant for urban life, but are a mere expression of nostalgia. Mark counters with examples from Indigenous groups who have shown an appreciation for the gifts of urban life, or who choose to live in a way which is fiercely environmental.
Alan Roxburgh and Harvey Kwiyani consider the underlying narratives of the African understanding of mission, place and the migration experience. What underlies their sense of call to kingdom life in this new place? Harvey explains that African culture generally is spirit-centred, so as Christians, Africans have a high expectation...
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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.