The Magnificat parish of St Barnabas’ Church Southdown, Bath played host to the second module of the CMS Certificate in Pioneer Mission. The Certificate is part of the diocese’s training offer, delivered in partnership with Church Mission Society (CMS); leaders in training for lay and ordained pioneers nationally. The CMS Certificate is based on six modules: What is Pioneer Mission?; Reading the Bible for context; Doing theology; Mission spirituality; Mission ecclesiology; Pioneering in the rural church.
For the second module, eighteen students from all over the Diocese – Watchet and Peasedown St John the extremes – met in the church hall to understand better how to read the Bible in context, taking account of the historical background of the Bible’s books, and the lenses we look through as individuals and members of today’s society when we read the Scriptures.
Covering the whole overarching Bible story in a day could have been hard work, but Revd Diana Greenfield led the first day creatively with the help of videos from the Bible Project, jigsaw puzzles, stress balls, apples, quizzes, and glow-in-the-dark stars to name just a few things. ‘It was really helpful having things to do with our hands – the stress balls were great’ said one student, ‘and the change of activity every 20 minutes or so meant you didn’t drift off.’
Rachel Spence, newly appointed pioneer to Whiteway, joined us for the day and was interviewed about her call to the area and her past experience of ministry and mission in inner city areas.
The evening was a time of celebration and continuing to get to know each other over a delicious meal prepared by one of the students. After dinner some students went home while others repaired to the YMCA in Bath for an overnight stay, with some heading to the Café Rouge for a glass of wine over the imaginative game ‘Pionopoly’. ‘Pionopoly’ is a way of mapping your local context – our version covered Martock, Ash and Kingsbury Episopi and we were required to invest in local community spaces where we could engage with the local people and discern how to join in with God’s mission to the area.
Sunday morning saw the group divided into four teams and tasked with demonstrating – in whatever way they chose – what they had learned over the weekend.
For more information about the course or details of how to register for the next cohort of students, email Emma Bartlett or phone 01749 685105.
Revd Tina Hodgett Evangelism and Pioneer Team Leader