A Discipling Presence
Are you part of a rural church? Do you want to focus on mission and making disciples? If so, A Discipling Presence is for you. It contains stories to inspire, exercises and Bible passages to help you reflect and practical suggestions to get you started or move you forward.
Elizabeth Clark, National Rural Officer for the Methodist and United Reformed Churches, has been part of the ecumenical group that created this new resource. This book supports those living and serving God in the countryside. It contains thinking about worship, evangelism, children and young people and making the best use of church buildings. It encourages, challenges and inspires. ‘For anyone involved in rural church life, this book offers food for thought, confidence in God and hope for the future. It’s realistic and practical.’
Revd John Proctor, General Secretary, the United Reformed Church ‘A Discipling Presence will appeal to those working in a wide variety of rural contexts and I warmly recommend it to you.’ Revd Loraine Mellor, President of the Methodist Conference (2017/2018).
Copies cost £3.49 (plus postage), available from Methodist Publishing (0845 017 8220, Methodist Publishing).
The United Reformed Church along with the Methodists employ a rural officer to serve our churches. This is currently vacant but once filled the person will be based at the Arthur Rank Centre at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire: A Christian Charity Serving Rural Churches and their Communities.
They have an excellent web site dedicated to the needs and issues of rural churches and aim to equip and resource them. This is a constantly changing website with up to date worship materials available.
RuSource Briefings is a free rural information service for anyone working in the countryside or with rural people, and those supporting rural life. The briefings are produced by the editor, Alan Spedding, whose goal is to, "Cut important issues down to essentials and tell it straight", saving subscribers to the weekly e-news bulletin hours of time searching the internet for up-to-date, accurate & unbiased information. Alan also provides less frequent 'Easy Guides' to key areas of agriculture & land-based activity for the educated 'outsider'.
Follow RuSource on Twitter here. RuSource on Twitter features a different briefing most days and spots and retweets links to up to date rural information.
Helping farming people through difficult times
Flooded fields, soaking crops, volatile milk prices and a desperate effort to cut hay to provide winter food for the animals are just a few of the problems that farmers have faced this summer, making it hard for some of them to celebrate at this year’s harvest festival.
At the time of year when we traditionally give thanks for the year’s bounty Farm Crisis Network (FCN) is asking for help in its role of supporting farmers and their families who feel overwhelmed by their troubles. FCN volunteers understand the isolation of working alone and the difficulty of leaving the farm so they ‘walk with’ farmers and offer a telephone Helpline service to those who feel unable to cope. The volunteers help farmers and their families find a way to overcome challenges that can seem insurmountable without a confidential, listening ear.
Website: Farm Crisis Network
Rural Evangelism Network
Bringing together Churches and Mission Agencies - sharing insight and experience.
Website: Rural Evangelism Network
The Localism Act is a very significant piece of new legislation in its own right. Combined with the draft National Planning Policy Framework it could provide significant opportunities and challenges for rural communities across the country. As the last paragraph of the following summary states the Act could effect a significant change in national life, passing power to a local level, creating space for local authorities to lead and innovate, and giving people the opportunity to take control of decisions that matter to them.
Here is a summary of each for your information:-
Download: The Localism Act (2011) - a summary