Sunday, 4 March 2012

Order for Baptist Ministry

Back in October, I posted on the first Baptist Order Convocation.  I didn’t feel able to follow that up with more news but am now in a better position to do so.
Over three days in October 2011, twenty-five people came together at All Saints Conference Centre, Hertfordshire, to explore further the possibility of establishing an Order that was distinctively Baptist.  
At the heart of the gathering was a rhythm of prayer - morning, mid-day, evening and night - drawing upon a variety of liturgies, mostly those that have been specifically written among ourselves for personal and cell group use.  This was particularly rich and nourishing, combining stillness and silence with carefully crafted words.  
We had opportunity to share the Dream, to hear from a number of ‘Holy Dreamers’, and to hold some discussion about different aspects of the Order.  Of special significance were the conversations we had with Brother John Hennings, once a Baptist minister, now a Franciscan Friar, who we invited as a guest.  Brother John was of enormous help, listening to our story and enabling us to consider the way forward.  Two main things that we took away were: what we’re doing is likely to be a lengthy process and one that shouldn’t be hurried; and we need to articulate the particular charism of what we’re about. 
Since then, a further period of conversation and reflection has taken place and in January, as the Core Group met to consider the story so far, important decisions were reached, especially concerning the name, the charism and our priority.
We’ve continued to struggle with the name, having adopted ‘Baptist Order’ until recently.  We feel that now we have settled on, ‘Order for Baptist Ministry’.  
Our charism, ‘We are an Order for Baptist Ministry who see ministry as a living means of grace to the church as together we mediate the presence of Christ in the world.‘  
‘Our priority is to encourage patterns and rhythms of relationship and devotional life that sustain this way of being.’
At the close of that day, we made our first vows with a real sense that this was God’s time to make this initial commitment.  
We’ve booked a venue for our second Convocation.  This time it will take place in the North, from 7-8 November 2012 and will be at Minsteracres Retreat Centre, near Consett, County Durham. 
For those of us who’ve been involved in this for over two years, it feels not so much like an arrival as a beginning!  We’ve much more to process as we continue this journey, but it seems as though a start really has been made.

9 comments:

Peter Dominey said...

Geoff, thanks for posting this... It would be interesting to hear more about this as you have time. I'm wondering and curious...

- Does the name mean it is intended for those who are ordained Baptist Ministers in BUGB?

- Can you say anything of the understandings of mission and the relationship of the order to mission?

Geoff Colmer said...

Hi Peter!

In answer to your questions:
It is intended for those who are Baptist ministers, but wouldn't exclude those who are not on our accredited list.

We have a Dream Statement which I'll email to you, but it includes these two portions:
we hold a view of Baptist ministry
as a way of being that mediates the presence of Christ,
particularly expressed in word, sacrament, pastoral care and mission.

and

We dream of an Order
committed to the way of Christ
faithful to the call of Christ
discerning the mind of Christ
offering the welcome of Christ
growing in the likeness of Christ
engaging in the mission of Christ
in the world that belongs to Christ.

I hope that this is helpful.

Catriona said...

Hi Geoff,

Iknow this was posted a while back, but I have returned to it following the recent NAM conference, where I was a small group leader, and some of the order's material was used. Is there any intention of making the resource publicly available? I am searching for something to re-establish my own patterns/rhythms of prayer/reflection after a rather fallow period (if that's not too honest for the web!) and am interested in this possibility.

Secondly, I recently was chatting to Kelvin (who you knew in East Midlands and who is now at St Mary's Cathedral) who says 'hi'... how small the world is!

Geoff Colmer said...

Hi Catriona!

Great to hear from you. I think that the person you were chatting to is Cedric - an excellent person! Actually, I told him about you a while back.

The material will be available on our website when this becomes established in the near future. However, if you send me your email address I'll send you all of the Daily Offices and a Midday and Evening Prayer.

Geoff

Catriona said...

Thanks Geoff, that's great.

Yes, Cedric, not Kelvin, doh, my brain is rubbish these days! Too many unusual names around here!

My email address is in the 2012 BUGB handbook if that's any help? Otherwsie I can look up yours and email you instead.

Hope all is well in CBA

Anonymous said...

Hi - I wrote a lot about the Roman Catholic sacrament of order in my PhD. Balthasar says you can bypass lexical or developmental questions and go direct to the Cross where Jesus uses the constellation of characters around him to establish a continuation of his saving work. These roles need to be replicated in the sacrament of order. Got an interesting 20 pages on it if you want to see it.

Ian Fulcher said...

Hi Geoff,
Just become aware of this through Transform Magazine and find it very interesting. We planted a weekly Celtic Church in Easter this year as part of our fresh expressions initiatives and I have running loose in my mind developing from it a Baptist "high street monastic missional community" here in Norton (Stockton-on-Tees)so to become aware of your vision was interesting to say the least. We have the Northumbria Community up here as you know. Could you send me more info or post where to find it. Thanks
Ian Fulcher
Norton Baptist Church
PS: It seems a long time ago since we were flat neighbours in Leeds!

Neil the pastor said...

Hi Geoff,

I saw this in the Baptist Times, and they provided a website link, but it doesn't work - and Google isn't being much use (although it did connect me to your blog) - can you help?

Blessings,

Neil Douglas.

Geoff Colmer said...

Hi Neil!

This is the address of the website: http://orderforbaptistministry.co.uk

The post that you were directed to is a bit archaic and there are another couple of posts, one from just two days ago.

Hope this is helpful.

Geoff