Monthly Archives: September 2008

Money Management

I am back from an inspiring (& exhausting) day being trained to be a Money Coach for the CAP Money course.

This is a totally awesome project.

There will now definitely be CAP Money courses running, for free, in Thrapston and Raunds before very long. I am totally convinced that this course offers what it says on the tin namely:

A comprehensive yet astonishingly simple money management course to help you get, and then stay, in control of your finances.

The work that Christians Against Poverty are doing is amazing. I urge you to find out more and support them through their ‘Life Changers’ program – I am.

If you live in Thrapston or Raunds or nearby and think you might be interested in a free 3 session course (1 evening a week for 3 weeks) that will put you in control of your money and allow you to stay that way then please email me, I will confirm receipt of your email and then let you know when we have fixed dates for the courses (no obligation of course).

For more see: 42: Helping during the Credit Crunch.

Helping during the Credit Crunch

Doing something practical tomorrow in response to the Credit Crunch.

Five of us are going on a Christians Against Poverty course to become Money Coaches. We will then be running CAP Money courses in Thrapston and Raunds.

I have been watching the CAP Money course DVD’s this week and I am very excited about the change this can bring about by helping people take control of their finances. We are certainly going to be working on this ourselves (in fact we have already been taking some steps such as removing our dependence on credit cards).

The CAP Money System is a simple but really powerful way of putting you in control of your money and what is more it is based on biblical principals. The effect should be to not just get people in control and out of debt but also into a healthier relationship with money (and particularly an understanding of value) which includes giving.

CAP win awards every year for their debt counselling service, my understanding is that it is far more effective than any other. We have so far been unable so far to work out a way of providing a CAP Debt Counselling centre in our rural area. But running CAP Money courses is an important first step and we will be able to help guide anyone needing it to full debt counselling.

However, it is going to be another long Saturday away from home as the course is in Bradford and I am driving & need to collect the other four from Thrapston at 7am. Fortunately it was a quiet day off apart from 3 drives to Northampton (transporting eldest son).

[Update] My first thoughts after the training: Money Management.

Some bike news

Beyond Emerging

In Beyond Emerging Maggi quoted Mark Pierson:

"I remain convinced that the future of the Church in the West doesn’t lie in the Emerging Church movement. The value of this movement is to influence and provoke the inherited church forms into change rather than to replace them. Still a vital role."

That helps my understanding. See 42: Fresh Expressions – who is leading? where in a comment responding to Mad Priest I wrote

think it is worth exploring to what extent Fresh Expressions and
Emerging Church are different and separate movements (albeit with a
huge overlap). I think you point to this in the use of "lead" as
opposed to "emerge".

5 Things We Got Wrong in the Emerging Missional Church

While I am not part of the Emerging Missional Church and especially not the EMC in Australia :-) this post by Mark Sayers makes for excellent reading and gives a lot to reflect on in the context where I serve.  5 Things We Got Wrong in the Emerging Missional Church « Mark Sayers.

It seems to me that point 4 is already critical to the Methodist Church in Great Britain while the others are excellent warnings of potential tar pits.

Hat tip: jonnybaker: 5 things we got wrong in the emerging missional church – reflecting on the australian context.

Maggi gets radical

At the end of some sound advice from Ignatian spirituality on decision making Maggi gets really radical when she says:

As I wrote, it came to me that I should take my own advice… [maggi dawn: Taking my own advice]

This could really turn the world upside down, imagine if we all restricted ourselves to giving advice we take for ourselves!

It seems to me that my life and maybe many others would be very different.

Hothorpe Hall cycling

As mentioned in 42: Mission Shaped Ministry Course I was away for the weekend. Fortunately, I had enough free time on Friday (it being my day off) to cycle there. I also managed a ride during the free time on Saturday afternoon. Anyway here are the 3 rides.

Going: Wet all the way.

Raunds to Hothorpe Hall at EveryTrail

Map created by EveryTrail:GPS Geotagging

Saturday afternoon, tempted into a lovely ride by Sheila.

Round trip from Hothorpe Hall at EveryTrail

Map created by EveryTrail:GPS Geotagging

Sunday: a lovely ride hone, beautiful weather.

Hothorpe Hall to Raunds at EveryTrail

Map created by EveryTrail:GPS Geotagging

Hope 08 in Thrapston

Just back from another planning meeting for Hope 08 in Thrapston. This is such an amazing and exciting time to be a Christian in Thrapston.

First we were planning another of our sharing meetings where we review Hope 08 events and encourage people to get involved in what is still to come. Since the last meeting (in June I think) we have four more events to report on (Charter Fair, Praise in the Park, Holiday at Home and Kids Club). Plus of course the ongoing projects (particularly stuff about Space2Be and Community Prayers).

But even now in September there are another 10 or so Hope projects planned for Thrapston! Here are just a few examples:

  • At our next meeting we have the local leader of Hope UK coming to encourage us to look at Drug/Alcohol education and prevention, something we hope to offer to the town.
  • On Saturday four of us are going to Bradford for training by CAP (Christians Against Poverty) so that we can offer the town the CAP Money course.
  • We have a 24/7 prayer week coming up (Sat 29th Nov to Sat 6th Dec), that ties in with an outdoor nativity presentation and the switching on of the Town’s Christmas lights. Judging by the commitments already made this is going to be the biggest 24/7 prayer week I have yet seen.

The list goes on and on well into 2009.

Every time I go to one of these meetings I am amazed at how powerfully God is at work in this quite small town, what a fantastic time to be a Christian here!

PS If you happen to read this and are an Anglican Priest – you have only a few days left to apply for the position of Vicar for Thrapston. Sorry if you are a Baptist, Catholic or Methodist as Arthur, Brian and I are not leaving so no vacancies :-)

Fresh Expressions – who is leading?


Hat tip: 546 « The Ongoing Adventures of ASBO Jesus (the comments are worth reading).

Strangely this is not my local experience.

On the Mission Shaped Ministry Course I am on (see 42: Mission Shaped Ministry Course) there are a few more women than men. Speakers are roughly equal (slightly more men).

At WOT (Worship on Thursdays – now running for over two years), the Fresh Expression at Raunds Methodist Church, the leadership is now Jane and Debbie. They lead on the vision, they set the programme, they invite me to take part in some elements, they run the sessions. I act as a link to the wider Methodist Church and as an advocate and communications channel (and cook). Sadly some people make the assumption that if I am "the Minister" I must also be the leader, fortunately Jane and Debbie don’t think that or nothing would happen :-)

I don’t know how our experience fits with elsewhere. Our leaders both work, they are both busy with families, they are both committed to multiple areas of the life of the Church (Debbie and Jane also lead our Junior Church, both play in the Worship Group, both are key members of the Sunday Lunch team, …). Such leaders are too busy getting on with the mission of God to worry about being recognised for it elsewhere. I suspect it has always been so.

What is more, it seems to me that it is essential for the future of the Christian faith that this is the case. We see that WOT and other similar Fresh Expressions are far less clergy and institution dependant than most inherited Church while also far more outward focused. With all the trends in post-Christendom that is a better place to be.

For me part of the good news in this is that I am now being encouraged as "Circuit Worship and Fresh Expressions Enabler" to spend time across the circuit where there are several Churches looking at getting started with a variety of different expressions of Church. So far in 2 out of 3 cases the leadership is mostly coming from women.