Mission Partners’ Fellowship News October 2019

Hello from Hilary

Autumn is a lovely season of changing colours. This reminds me of the changing scenes of life that we all experience. Some changes are hard to accept and some very exciting, yet we can be sure that God is with us in the changes. God is on the throne and he will lead us as we trust in his wisdom and guidance day by day.

I’d like to welcome the newest members of our Mission Partners’ Fellowship, Rev and Mrs Ed and Marie Brice. They served as mission partners in Paraguay and Argentina, and have returned to Argentina as mission associates.

Thank you for your ongoing support and prayers for CMS – we so appreciate your faithfulness.

God bless you,

Hilary Cope, Mission Partners’ Fellowship Secretary

A Word from Alastair Bateman

I’ve been with CMS about five months now and have enjoyed meeting staff as well as mission partners past and present. A good example of this was at the Adelante conference in September, which brought together about 90 people committed to mission in Latin America.

I’ve also recently met with leaders from the CMS Mission Network– it was great to spend time with them. The CMS Mission Network includes CMS-Africa, Asia-CMS, New Zealand CMS, CMS Australia, CMS Ireland and SAMS-USA. It reflects our commitment to partnership in global mission. This month I’m visiting CMS-Africa in Nairobi along with our people in mission serving across the continent. Please do pray for new relationships to form quickly and for fruitful conversations.

Over the last few months, as a senior leadership team we’ve decided to kick off a strategic review, considering our past, present and future, to help us discern the way forward together. We decided to call it the Isaiah Project as we have been reflecting on Isaiah 43:16–21 as a staff team. This passage has really spoken to us as we consider our role in God’s mission. What new things might God be calling us to? Please pray for us as we go on this journey as an organisation.

Every blessing, Alastair

Alastair Bateman, CEO

Message from Marcio

As I write to you my heart is full of joy and I feel blessed to be part of God’s Kingdom with you and part of the CMS community as well. You as missionaries see the world differently.

A famous Brazilian sailor called Amyr Klink challenged himself to sail to Antarctica in a small boat. His friends strongly criticised him, saying that he would get stuck in the ice with no way out, but the criticism only encouraged him. He organised himself with all he would need if he were stuck in the ice. In fact, he was in Antarctica for more than 600 days. Amyr had many challenges with his emotions, loneliness and the cold, but he also had the opportunity to contemplate wonderful views and amazing creatures, and it was a remarkable and life changing experience.

When Amyr was sailing back to Brazil he saw an old house on the coast. One of the windows was broken, held only by one of its hinges. It was a house he had seen on his way out, before his big experience. Looking at the almost broken window, Amyr reflected that, “Life changes for those who leave”, probably wanting to say that those who don’t leave their home may be limited in their ability to note its need.

All of you – people who have served abroad, sometimes struggling with resources, emotions or hard experiences – are the people who can probably best see the missional needs in the UK and contribute to his Kingdom’s advancement in this land, using all your experience!

May the God of mission continue to take you to new places for his glory, and bless your ministries and lives!

Marcio Ciechanowicz, CMS community mission enabler

New church workshops

On 5 October, we ran our new CMS church workshop for the first time with churches in Telford, organised by All Saints Wellington.

Church workshops are a new initiative which seeks to bring CMS mission thinking and ideas into churches so that anyone can gain access to some of the training on offer at CMS.

The workshop consists of a series of practical and interactive exercises using materials from Pioneer Mission Leadership Training, mission partner training and the Partnership for Missional Church process – drawing on a wide range of CMS mission experience. It is designed to be accessible for anyone in the church, not just leaders and mission committees, following CMS’s conviction that all of God’s people are called to God’s mission.

We are not promising to bring answers or formulas that help churches do mission locally. However, we do hope to ask challenging questions and start to enable churches to think about and approach mission with a different mindset.

If you know a church that would benefit from spending a day or half day delving into CMS mission thinking then the Churches section of the website has more details about the workshops.

John Orchard, church relations team

Fellowship news

Read more about new books from mission partners past and present, and thank you to former mission associates Ian and Merle Halliday for sharing their reflections and an encouragement to remember the struggles of our brothers and sisters around the world and to lift them up in prayer.

Alf and Hilary Cooper

Alf Cooper, a mission partner in Chile whom some of you will know, has recently published the English translation of a book about his experiences. Inside the Palacio was originally published in Spanish, but as of May 2019 is available in English. The book gives an inside view from the Chilean Presidential Palace while Alf was chaplain to President Pinera during his first term of office. The book also tells of the evangelical revival that took place in 1909, how the movement spread and the present-day status of the church. There is a foreword by President Pinera himself. The book is available on Amazon.

Ian and Merle Halliday, who served as mission associates in Kenya, have shared their experiences with us:

In 2016, Ian and I found ourselves as “empty-nesters” wanting to take a short sabbatical from our regular work as a barrister and a school administrator respectively. Ian, as a member of the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship (LCF), was aware that LCF supported various legal aid charities in East Africa and encouraged volunteers to go out to support the local lawyers’ fellowships.

Through our long-standing family connections with CMS we knew of the mission associate programme and applied in the hope of obtaining training and support that LCF could not supply. LCF asked us to be based in Nairobi. Although Kenya as a whole was a delightful placement, Nairobi was a tough billet. Thankfully, the offices of CMS-Africa were only a short matatu ride from our offices, enabling us to share regular fellowship with and pick the brains of the experienced team. Once in the field, we also discovered how well pitched our own training fortnight with CMS in Bradford had been in helping us to make the most of our short placement.

We have now been back in the UK for almost two years, and our time in Kenya continues to shed a corrective light on our western preoccupations (or “first world problems” as our children are wont to say). This was brought into sharp relief for us recently by the news of the untimely death of a KLCF colleague in Kenya; while we often wrestle with the problems of ease and plenty, day-to-day life for many of our fellow Christians remains fragile.

Catherine and John Ray were CMS mission partners in Srinagar from 1962 to 1986 and later for five years in Birmingham. They have shared the news that John’s book, Twenty-Five Years in Kashmir: Headmaster on a Mission, is to be published in UK this month. It gives a fascinating account of his life as principal of the Tyndale Biscoe School.

Originally requested as “something to give leaving students”, it touches on people and events in a very different age. Hippies, chief ministers, bishops and Kashmiri people of every background crowd the stage, set against the background of a school extraordinary in its range of adventurous activities. Jyoti Sahi’s drawings picture the now vanished Kashmiri scene and Wajahat Habibullah’s introduction speaks of “this beautiful work” as “poetry couched in prose”. Though John writes of his book as “just a little slice of life as we knew it”, it can also be read as a commentary on the unconscious interplay between Christian mission and western colonialism. For the UK edition (the book was first published in Delhi by ISPCK) an afterword by Shelby Tucker, author of Among the Insurgents, adds an unusual missionary dimension.

Twenty-Five Years in Kashmir is published by Signal Books in October 2019 and is also available on Amazon.

You’re invited

Upcoming dates for your diaries:

CMS Africa Conference

Date: 8–10 November 2019
Venue: The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire
Theme: New Vision for Mission in Africa
Main Speaker: Canon Moses Bushendich, international director of CMS-Africa

Details and booking

CMS Southern Conference

Date: 28 February–1 March 2020
Venue: High Leigh, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire
Theme: Sharing the Gospel Here, There and Everywhere
Speakers: Judith Stevenson, Anglican chaplain at Wormwood Scrubs Prison, and Janet Quarry of CMS

Details and booking

Deaths

The following former mission partners have died:

  • Rev Stephen Coffin died in March 2019. He served in Burundi.
  • Dr Lilian (Stella) Walter died in July 2019. She served in Pakistan.
  • Rt Rev John Ellison died in August 2019. He served with SAMS in Argentina and Paraguay.
  • Sister Kishori Macwan died in August 2019. She served in India, Nepal and Uganda.
  • Dr Donald Armstrong Gibson died in July 2019. He served in Uganda.
  • Rev Hedley (Neill) Mackay died in September 2019. He served in Nigeria.

Read more about the lives of John Ellison and Kishori Macwan by downloading the tributes PDF.

Download tributes PDF

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