News from the New Way Team (The Trustees)
The principal challenge facing the Team at the beginning of 2008 is to find funding for the second stage of a Development Programme.
The first stage, from April 2004 to March 2008, was made possible by the generosity of one benefactor who allowed New Way the freedom to develop 'as the Spirit led'; a gift in the true sense of the word.
That gift has enabled New Way to develop its work in a number of ways:
- Re-form our workshop material for use by any small Christian community, without the need for specialist leadership. The first three units are available in downloadable form as Starter Courses.
- Re-launch the website around stories of Small Christian Communities linked to clear statements of underlying principles.
- To publish a new series of weekly Bible Studies on Matthew's Gospel, written from use by SCC's to encourage their life and mission.
- Work with Fresh Expressions Team in the development of their thinking and by contributing to the "Small Church" module of their Mission-shaped Ministry Course.
- Lead Training Courses for ministers in the United Reformed Church, Methodist Church and Anglican Dioceses.
- Support SCC's, such as the Outstretched Hand, which are on the edge of, or detached from, the institutional church.
- Support small urban and rural churches as they endeavour to meet the challenge ppresented by a rapidly changing culture.
- Work with the Diocese of Bath & Wells in the development of a 'intentional community' based leadership course, "A Way of Being, Together", and in researching and publishing stories of emerging forms of church.
- Research collaborative forms of ministry such as Total Ministry (USA), Enabler Supported Ministry (Tasmania), Local Shared Ministry (CofE) and Local Collaborative Ministry (Scottish Episcopal Church). That research led to the development of Mutual Ministry, bringing SCC principles together with the shared and collaborative methods.
- Explore the idea of creating a New Way Community or Order with a rule of life and a pattern of living.
The second stage, from April 2008 to March 2010, presents new challenges as well as the need to extend the work which is in progress. The Team identified the following objectives for the next three years and is actively seeking funding for this work.
- Extend Courses
- Expand News section to maintain a flow of stories and good practice.
- Develop as hub of a network
- Establish an on-line discussion forum for the sharing of ideas and experience
- Learning Programmes
- Extend the existing work in Continuing Ministerial Education.
- Offer short-term placements to Ministers in training.
- Expand the accessability of our learning material by working with international publishers to provide programmes in several languages.
- Continue to offer a 'safe place' for the exchange and development of more radical thinking about 'future church'.
- Create a network of support and encouragement for SCC's across the country.
- to maintain and extend connections with institutional churches so that the experience and ideas from the 'edge' reach the 'centre'
- Develop the thinking and practice around "Leaderful Communities"
- Develop thinking and establish practice of New Way as a hub community with a rule of life.
- Renew Team
- Draw in new and younger members to maintain a succession of experience, energy and enthusiasm
- Extend the full-time paid work and enable a transfer of expertise as the Development Worker approaches retirement age.
Sadly, no funding was forthcoming, so this programme did not go ahead. We did, however, decide to retain the website for the forseeable future, and are pleased to see it enjoys widespread access for the Resources section.