The current and most up to date version of Transforming Ministry magazine in electronic format. This could be especially useful if you have just taken out an annual subscription (as the printed option) but were too late to receive the current copy.
There will be much to strike chords with many of us in the Theme section of this issue. My own benefice has been in vacancy now for almost a year – and that is for the third time since I was licensed as an LLM twelve years ago. Our contributors’ stories demonstrate both how similar and how different vacancies can be. They don’t always come about for straightforward reasons – and the responsibility for keeping the parish running smoothly always impacts to some degree on every member of the ministry team. Patricia Wilkinson describes a particularly difficult scenario – her willingness to talk about it will be helpful for anyone else facing a similar situation. Other situations have their problems too of course. The practical advice given in the articles by Linda Clist, Gillian Newton and Katherine Bloomer will be useful to many, as will Timothy Lee’s advice to put ourselves in the other’s shoes when a new incumbent finally arrives. It is good to be reminded that this will not solve all the problems, at least not without presenting us with a few new ones!
There is plenty more to whet the appetite in this issue too. As Jo Henderson-Merrygold prepares to hand her role in Ministry Division back to Carrie Myers, she shares some thought-provoking and engaging reflections. Can you imagine yourself as a sheep? Even a rather special one? We are privileged too to be able to reprint an article by Ruth Valerio offering a Trinitarian approach to the climate crisis. Richard Appleton explores the language of Ecclesiastes, and Jane McLarty encourages us to engage with further study. Then Adrian Roberts writes movingly about the hope we have as Christians.
An article looking at the role lay ministers might have in administering Communion is followed by the second of Alan Stanley’s two articles on lay leadership in church.
Our Book Feature this time presents an extract from Act Justly by the prolific Sam Wells, and is followed by an interview with the author. Along with the book reviews, this section is usually very popular, and I am sure this one will be no exception.
The next issue of our magazine will consider how we might engage as preachers with difficult texts. The deadline for this is coming up soon, so do contact me if you would like to join the debate. After that we will be exploring how to take forward lessons learned from the pandemic, and the first issue of 2024 will look at how we might live with justice and compassion in today’s world. Please do keep the ideas coming – and get in touch: email@example.com
Editorial - RICHENDA MILTON-DAWS
Learning to be a leader sheep
THEME – VACANCY AND AFTER
Ministering in a vacancy
Reflecting on vacancies
A time to downsize?
Managing a vacancy after suspension
Left out or a new direction? Coping with a new incumbent
A Trinitarian approach to the climate crisis
Ecclesiastes: a life-affirming book of disconcerting truths
Where to find Lady Wisdom
The hope for an afterlife
The Reserved Sacrament and lay-led Communion
What a lay-led church might look like
Book extract: Act Justly
Meet the author of Act Justly
Obituary: Ronald Blythe
News and notices
Postscript: Blessings found in vacancy