This year’s Vital Signs report has just been launched. Vital Signs is a really helpful snapshot of the health of the city in terms of poverty, housing, the economy, health, crime and so on. It gives that essential background that we need if our approach to mission in the city is to be well informed and not just based on hearsay. This year, the report rightly highlights mental health as an issue of growing significance: did you know that 3 in every 20 people in MK between 16 and 74 experienced mental health problems last year? When that is coupled with the decrease in resource available for people to access and the serious gaps that exist in provision, then we know that there is a problem and that problem damages people. I wonder how well each of our churches responds in this area. It seems to me that we ought at least to be able to offer the open warmth and acceptance that characterised the ministry of Jesus which in itself enables a degree of healing. We ought at least to encourage space within which problems can be owned and be places of trust where people can be vulnerable without fear of rejection. What might you do? To read more, download the report from http://www.mkcommunityfoundation.co.uk/about/vital-signs-2017/
Our November Assembly is fast approaching. Building on our last Assembly when we looked at the question of resources, I want to dig deeper into some of the challenges that we need to address. Recently I’ve been asking myself and others the question why is Milton Keynes not a city alive to God? and that’s beginning to unearth all sorts of interesting responses and indicate where some of the root issues might be. Identifying those root issues has got to be essential in determining how we address them in a structured and effective manner. So I’m working on how we might look at that together at the Assembly. Those who have tried the exercise so far have found the whole process revealing and useful, so I look forward to you joining me and seeing what happens!
Mission Partnership Assembly
Christ the Vine, Coffee Hall
7.30pm, November 29th
pdf version to download – Mission Partnership Newsletter November 2017