FROM SPACE TO INTEGRAL MISSION & BEYOND
Monday 24th March 2014 FROM SPACE TO INTEGRAL MISSION AND BEYOND There is so much one could say about the recent ‘Just Life’ Integral Mission Conference that Soul Action facilitated with Grace Aid as part of a joint initiative that we call Integral Mission South Africa.
Read about Just Life from a delegates point of view HERE.
Personally for me (Phil Bowyer), God really spoke about “space” again – anyone who has been connected to Soul Action in recent years knows that space has become a bit of a buzz word, an ethos, one of our core values. As we met to plan ‘Just Life’ we heard how David Westlake would be speaking on the Woman at the Well (John 4).
What we did not know until the day was why God had asked us to build wells, or even what we were to do with them once we had. In the weeks leading up to the conference I faithfully scoured the city for block sized boxes – it proved much harder than I imagined. In the end we decided to purchase 36 identical recycled / second hand boxes.
David challenged us to think about inclusion in the context of John 4 by reflecting on Wendell Berry’s healing, hospitality and households, i.e. generous spaces. Listen to David’s talk HERE
As I stood to lead the response I wondered what must have been going through the minds’ of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at that well in Sychar 2000+ years ago. I invited delegates to imagine and create their own generous spaces using the boxes.
When delegates returned 45 minutes later, they rebuilt the wells and shared communion as they remembered the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, whose, “…kingdom was to be conceived as a present reality attacking evil, driving out demons, healing the sick, and forging new relationships of trust between alienated groups” (Samuel and Sugden 1999:171).
Reflecting on this years conference I’ve been asking myself what kind of space Jesus imagined the Church would be for women, races, religions, children and the marginalised – something to think and act on between now and next years conference.