Mini Story of The Dandelion Community - context, theology, questions


Published on

Published in: Spiritual
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Mini Story of The Dandelion Community - context, theology, questions

  1. 1. The Dandelion Community A spiritual community A United Reformed Church Wythenshawe Facebook: The Dandelion Community Web & Blog: The Dandelion Community
  2. 2. Context of Wythenshawe  Wythenshawe 75,000 people in 6 areas – Northern Moor, Northenden, Baguley, Peel Hall, Benchill & Woodhouse Park (14,000 residents)  High levels of ill health & unemployment, around 55% residents in housing trust homes, 2 high school academies, high investment in regeneration  Wythenshawe – The Garden City of Manchester – was gifted farmland by Lord Simon (Simonsway named after him), large Wythenshawe Hall & Park, lots of greenspaces, trees over 60 yrs old, ancient fruit varieties
  3. 3. Churches & URC  About 26 churches Portuguese and Tamil speaking  4 Reformed congregations in different Wythenshawe locations with a Reformed presence since 1862  United into 1 church on 1 site in 1959 – attendance around 50 people Sunday worship  Congregational & Presbyterian roots became a United Reformed Church  Traditional church with minister, deaconess, elders, deacons, members, adherents  Community ministries & community outreach -1980s
  4. 4. Approaches to doing theology here: • Early on people told me ‘ we are a practical church not a spiritual church’ – I did and didn’t believe it! • We worked to bring these aspects together • I assumed theology is done first and reflected on second and that the bible is a participant in conversation • All elders are the spiritual leadership team with the minister ‘We are a practical church not a spiritual church’ If the church is a river where are our blocks, & where are we flowing? I had a dream about…
  5. 5. Approaches to making theo/alogy  There are different ways and different people to try them but I lead by Seeing Interpreting Acting (See Judge Act)  Listen into the context, discern, translate and interpret what is done, by whom, how, what is said, by whom and how  Listen into the stories of people, place & power  Listen and look for what Spirit is already doing – fruits are: peacemaking, tending the powerless, hope, courage, living witnesses to alternative ways
  6. 6. Theology in practice  The church is a movement and not primarily an institution  The Spirit is at work in the world and we join in with it anywhere and with anyone  God, Jesus, the Bible, prayer and healing salvation are open to all and people do not need a mediator such as the church but a community if co- conspirators – to breathe together, and be companions
  7. 7. Where is Spirit – what is she doing  Everyday & regular rituals – cooking, collecting benefits, going to sign on, meeting in the café, watching tv, playing bingo, walking to volunteer – all involve opportunities – Reading the Bible in public with 4 people – Acts as main focus  Change is all around us in the seasons and in natural world – notice and become more aware of this in the Garden City – growing, cooking, planting, eating
  8. 8. Transition  1 congregation to 3 congregations or more – through streams  2 year process of prayer, waiting, dreaming with bible and interpretation, trust and expectancy  4 images: river, bread, apple tree and dandelion – presented 2 to the Sunday morning congregation and 2 in many conversations (elders tried to have 5- 10 conversations each about them over several months) & dandelion stood out…
  9. 9. Dandelion  Who are we now  How are we now  What are we saying about God  Why did we change our name  What are others saying  What is Spirit doing in Wythenshawe/Dandelion  What next – prayer, name, membership, growth