Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Sabbatical 9th February

In Cambridge today using University Library. Reading about St Paul's sense of mission and vocation and  his priorities in church planting and evangelism (William Bowers).  Very usefully linking in to Newbigin and to Roland Allen. Spent some time revising Newbigin paper in light of reading and thinking.
On train home reading James Massey 'Downtrodden' re the  "struggle of India's Dalits'. Massey was recommended during conversation at Tamilnadu Theological Seminary. Tamilnadu Theological Seminary has a strong emphasis on empowering the Dalit as part of the Gospel. Massey engages with Dalit Theology and also Liberation Theology. He has an emphasis on theology engaging with history not concepts (sounds very Hebrew). He notes that in 1997 the Indian church was 60 % Dalit. 

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Sabbatical - Day 30 - Tuesday 3rd February

Off to Cambridge today to suss out (as an ongoing resource) and work in the Library of the Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide at Westminster College (and where coincidentally but nicely Lesslie Newbigin studied for ordination (1933-36)) Also meeting up with Kingsley Yeboah (ordinand at Ridley Hall) for a light lunch, and with Paul and Ginny Weston.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Sabbatical - Day 29 (Monday 2nd February) - Processing

We are just about over the jet-leg! Down to more reflecting today.

'Sister Wendy on Prayer' is wonderfully refreshing: "The astonishing thing about prayer is our inability to accept that if we have need of it, as we do, then because of God's goodness, it cannot be something that is difficult. Accept that God is good and that your relationship with Him is prayer, and you must conclude that prayer is an act of the utmost simplicity... 'Knock and it shall be opened to you.... What kind of God thinks of tricks, lays down arcane rules, makes things difficult? God wants to love us and to give himself... The humblest, most modest, almost Imperceptible rubbing of our fingers on the door, and it flies open." (p3)

Today I shall begin drawing my thoughts together. The title is:'What can we learn from Leslie Newbigin’ Ecclesiology for mission in Chelmsford Diocese, with especial regard to the insights of Roland Allen and the Diocesan strategy, “Transforming Presence”?'

Two more photos taken whilst on the go.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Sabbatical - Day 28 - some landscapes

Today four landscapes from India, the first three grab-shots from a train

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Sabbatical - Day 25 - flying home

At Chennai airport bright - well, perhaps a bit sleepy :) - and early. 
Sunrise behind St Thomas Mount
Dubai airport for connection. Table service at Costas; must suggest in in Harlow:)
A couple of hours delay at Dubai, but still light and captured this:

In flight...

And home at Gatwick

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Sabbatical- Day 24 - farewells

The Annual Report of the Madras Christian Council of Social Service.
It was founded in 1965 by Lesslie Newbigin, bringing together 13 mainline denominations and 4 Christian Service organisations. It began by focussing on providing relief for those in the slums during natural calamities. Over the years it has majored in health needs, socio-political, and health education, and has addressed issues such as urbanisation, eviction and globalisation. More recent work hash included the issue of violence against women, transgender issues, providing care for those with AIDS and homes for the elderly.

On this final day, some scenes not picked up earlier.

The prayer room at the Diocesan Training Centre is used daily. Here a group of school children are there praying for the day. Schools take it in turns. What an example!

A grab shot on the way from Kanchipuram to Mahabalipuram
From the train from Chennai to Bangalore

Bangalore station

At / from the World Trade Fair

This evening by God's grace we are going to a first Birthday; then final farewells and an early rise for the flight home.
This has been an incredibly rich and enriching time. My next Sabbatical task is to get something in writing. But jet lag to get over first!
God is good, all the time. We have learnt and experienced so much about faith, mission, evangelism and ministry. May I by God's grace take it to heart and mind.