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It seems a long time since I first put this issue together, and much has changed since then. But the ‘theme’ topic of prayer is even more urgent than before. Here we are, at home, trying to connect with our communities, learning how to ‘be Church’ in entirely new ways. Prayer must undergird our attempts, and it will sustain us through this darkness. So, this issue of Transforming Ministry includes some prayerful reflections on our current situation from Nel Shallow. Following this, Malcolm Guite explores the metaphors in George Herbert’s poem ‘Prayer’. Pauline Lovelock writes about children’s prayer, and what we can learn from them. For Mike Abbott, pilgrimage and prayer are closely connected, while Hilary Walker draws strength from praying with others (and it is encouraging that some of this involves praying with others at a distance, and in parallel). Catherine Butcher encourages us to get involved with Prayer 2020, and Mark Greene suggests ways of praying for people in their places of work. We will be getting back to work eventually, and we will all need prayer. This theme section ends with a ‘Candle Prayer’ by April McIntyre, a Reader from Derbyshire, and suggestions for praying in isolation from a number of contributors.
As usual, the magazine also contains articles on different topics. So, Jenny Seatherton describes her distinctive ministry with the Deaf Community in Kent, and Bishop Colin Buchanan gives an overview of the way public worship has changed over the past six decades. This will not only bring back some childhood memories, it also gives a helpful context for current practice – at least practice up until the appearance of Covid-19. After this, the tone lightens as two more Readers join the debate about humour in the New Testament.
The Books section is always a popular feature, and in this issue we not only have a book extract and author interview (this time featuring Batting for the Poor by Andrew Bradstock) but the usual four pages of book reviews are followed by an extended ‘feature’ review by Jeremy Harvey of Sam Wells’s A Future that’s Bigger than the Past.
The theme for the next issue of Transforming Ministry is due to be ‘Working with others’, but I will also welcome material on how you are coping in your ministry in these difficult times. I will need copy by the first week in May. The last issue of the year will look at ‘Apocalyptic texts’ – including, but not only, the Book of Revelation. The submission date for copy for that issue will be the first week in August. The next theme topics planned are ‘Caring for the environment’ and ‘Creativity and worship’. Do email me with your ideas about these or any other topics. Please note my new address though – Editor@crcmag.co.uk.
Finally, I must draw your attention to the Postscript for this issue – a special one. It is the last Postscript we will have from Gertrud Sollars as she is finishing her term of office as Vice-chair of the CRC in April. We had hoped to give her a fitting send-off at the planned Gathering on 25th April, but obviously this is no longer possible. On the opposite page though you can read tributes from her current and recent colleagues – just a small token of our regard for her.
Editorial - RICHENDA MILTON-DAWS
Goodbye to Gertrud Sollars - TRIBUTES TO CRC’S RETIRING VICE-CHAIR
Message from Bishop Martyn - THE RT REVD MARTYN SNOW
THEME – PRAYER
Sharing prayer in a time of solitude - NEL SHALLOW
George Herbert and a way into Prayer - MALCOLM GUITE
The wisdom of children’s prayer - PAULINE LOVELOCK
Walking as prayer - MIKE ABBOTT
A highway of prayer - HILARY WALKER
Praying together in 2020 - CATHERINE BUTCHER
Praying for people in the workplace - MARK GREENE
No words to pray (a candle prayer) - APRIL MCINTYRE
Churches may be locked, but the Kingdom is open
Resources for children at home
A distinctive calling - JENNY SEATHERTON
Changes for the worshipping congregation - COLIN BUCHANAN
Funny thing: hermeneutics or interpretation? - JOHN GRIFFITHS
Humour – lost in translation? - ALAN COX
Book extract and author interview: Batting for the Poor - ANDREW BRADSTOCK
Feature review: A Future that’s Bigger than the Past - JEREMY HARVEY
Enabling vocation - CARRIE MYERS
Renewing the vision - ROSEMARY WALTERS
Online learning and social media - new opportunities for Licensed Lay Ministers - RUTH HALDANE
Letters from Readers
Postscript - GERTRUD SOLLARS