Change is definitely in the air in MK. Some of that change seems to come at us from outside: Plan:MK has now been adopted by MK Council and published at https://www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/planning-and-building/plan-mk. The scale of expansion envisaged will have a huge effect on the city. Some change is generated within the churches as we respond with our Christian faith to what we see around us, meeting the challenges and trying to grasp the opportunities. It was a delight to be a part of our Assembly in April, as we heard from the various denominations locally what their plans were to grow the church for mission as we work towards seeing MK: a City Alive to God. Engaging with those plans as they develop, and more importantly, bringing them to life in our churches and our various expressions of witness will be vital over the coming years.
All change, even the change that we ourselves are attempting, is unsettling and difficult to navigate. We need to support one another and be patient with one another as we tackle change together. The Church has acquired something of a reputation for resisting change, hence the old joke: “how many Anglicans/Baptists/URCs/Methodists/ Catholics (delete as applicable) does it take to change a light bulb?” “Change? What’s change?” But that really should not be the case. Christian faith is first and foremost an Easter faith. It is driven entirely by the energy that comes from the resurrection of Jesus, the most transformative change ever imagined and brought to reality. Our lives as Christians are built on the resurrection of Jesus. The resurrection shows us that God is always at work to bring new life to his world, even out of tragedy and disaster. It shows us a God for whom “no defeat is final” as Rowan Williams put it. It is that transforming resurrection that we offer the world, and the resurrection that inspires and empowers us to keep on working in the Spirit for the change that we long to see in a city coming alive to God. So when change is really hard we can take heart, following St. Paul, who, at the very end of his monumental chapter on the resurrection in a letter to the church in Corinth and on the basis of the resurrection, could write, “With all this going for us my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.”
As Easter people, let us be a part of the change we want to see.
P.S. Summer coMPass leaflets out now.
pdf version of newsletter to download – Mission Partnership Newsletter May 2019