Friday 11 February 2011

New Wave?

I am now on the list for receiving, and have just received, UNI-News, a Unitarian General Assembly mailing. It gives how to find such as Unitarian church vacancies, which seem to be so difficult to fill. In some ways I am still relatively ignorant of broader goings on, as I have been focused locally. I would like to find out how the Unitarians are changing more broadly, and one way is via recent ministerial appointments and what they are saying.

Ex Anglican Rev. Patrick Timperley went to Mansfield two years ago, and he and an ex-Hull minister are about to discuss or do their own The Jesus Seminar (not quite sure) in some presentation there in the afternoon of 19th March. This is about the four gospels and a radical reappraisal of the Gospel of John. I remember going to Mansfield in the later 1980s and finding it very traditional, even using the 1932 Orders of Worship at that time. As I went around different places taking services, it sure didn't suit me (and should have been a warning).

I have understood Bolton to be traditional Unitarian too, but could well be wrong and out of touch. There are two churches there (one is advertising for a joint ministry). I have a link to Rev. Stephen Lingwood's (illustrated) blog Reignite.

...of Reflections on ministering up North, from a bisexual, liberal, evangelical, Anabaptist, Jesus-lovin' Unitarian; searching for transformative new ways of doing church and mission.

There is a new website at his Bank Street Bolton Unitarians (seems to be slow loading). Stephen Lingwood strikes me as of a new wave of radical and purposeful ministers, along with Andy Pakula - another blogger:

I am (Rev) Andy Pakula. I am a Unitarian minister leading a very vibrant, radically-inclusive congregation in north London that never ceases to delight and amaze me.

It's a struggle to build a congregation; however, there is no doubt that a strong personality and a sense of purpose shared does push things forward, that with enough publicity and good groundwork the people who come may well stay. It only takes a nucleus of people to come along that can turn a receptive church around if it is struggling, and then before long it is running along nicely.

1 comment:

Yewtree said...

A pity you weren't at GA last year to see the service Stephen did with Michael Dadson, and Stephen's brilliant retelling of the story God's Hat.

The cartoon doesn't capture Stephen's vitality - I've never seen him look resigned or glum like that.