What a great week we had last week with several visitors to ThirdSpace – some at the bandstand and some at the pub and then at our meal on Wednesday night. It was so encouraging and enjoyable to welcome new folk and begin to hear some of their stories…
On top of that, some of us met with Michael Mitton (the Fresh Expressions Adviser for the Diocese of Derby) to explore our relationship with the Anglican Church. We had such an affirming evening and were delighted to agree to an informal friendship with the diocese, through a continuing relationship with Michael as a critical friend. This fits in with our commitment to be ecumenical, whilst wanting to embrace good relationships with the wider Church. It also fits well with our commitment to our affiliation with CMS and to Ian Adams as our Mentor / Spiritual director / some sort of title we haven’t come up with yet!
Michael was so positive about CMS’s vision and it was good to know that he has met with Ian and Chris Neal of CMS along with the Bishop of Repton, Bishop Humphrey. We were particularly taken with an analogy he used of us being akin to the Celts who set off in their coracles, raising their sails and going where the wind blew / the Spirit took them. It was both inspiring and challenging – but a true reflection of how we’ve always felt – a sense of not being in control of where ThirdSpace is going but believing we’re being taken somewhere!
We also really liked the quotation he shared with us from Vincent J Donovan’s ‘Christianity Rediscovered” In his preface, he quotes an American student who wrote to him saying,
‘… do not try to call them back to where they were, and do not try to call them to where you are, beautiful as that place may seem to you. You must have the courage to go with them to a place that neither you nor they have been before.’
That’s pretty much the vision we share for this group as different individuals join us and we journey together. Thanks Michael – we really look forward to meeting with you again and exploring more with you.