Tuesday 19th September
From one of our Regional Ministers...

A message from Rev Alison Mackay our Regional Minister for Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire

Greetings to you all during this summer season. It's August and it feels like I have already done all the seasons this year. My Sabbatical took me to Sweden in February, just as we were enjoying an early Spring I was plunged into the depths Winter. Then in May, as it was getting warmer here, I found myself in Autumn in South Africa.

My Sabbatical was spent looking at issues of diversity. Engaging in transformational hermeneutic with gay and transgender ministers, and having the privilege of travelling with a group of black and ethnic minority women ministers to South Africa to encourage black African women to step up and take their place in the church. These experiences taught me a lot and at times took me way out of my comfort zone, yet I feel I learned much in these different conversations and situations.

I now turn my attention to areas of my responsibility within HEBA.

Firstly our Small Churches Network. We had a really successful day in February under the leadership of Rev Dan Yanell, the Senior Lecturer at ForMission and National Co-ordinator at Fellowship of Churches of Christ in Great Britain and Ireland. Dan has written several books encouraging Mission within the small church  setting and we had an inspiring time together. We decided that our next step is to take the Small Churches Network on the road, and dates are currently being considered in each of the four areas the Regional Ministers cover. If you are in a church of 40 or less, then you will be hearing more details soon, but just now please keep these dates free.

Dave's patch Staffordshire, North Birmingham
Saturday 23rd September
Neil's patch South Birmingham, Coventry & Warwickshire
Saturday 14th October
Adrian's patch Black Country
Saturday 4th November
My patch Worcestershire, Shropshire, Herefordshire
Saturday 25th November

The idea is to find a central location to meet on a Saturday morning. More information will be available as soon as these arrangements are confirmed in each area.

Another area of ministry we are currently launching within the Association is our new Justice Hubs.

We are urgently seeking people who could get involved in encouraging areas of Justice around our churches, particularly in the areas of Racial Justice, Disability and Gender. Meetings will be held quarterly, and we seek those who have a passion in this regard. If this is something you would be interested in being involved in please let me know, I would love to hear from you.

Proverbs 31: 8-9 "encourages us to "Speak out on behalf of the voiceless, and for the rights of all who are vulnerable. Speak out in order to judge with righteousness and to defend the needy and the poor." (Common English Bible)

BaptismMay we never be ashamed to carry on our Baptist tradition and not be afraid to stand up for those who are marginalised and under-represented, by making God's grace known.

Blessings and love, Alison Mackay
Regional Minister for Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire.