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March 16, Archdeacon Kevin: Renewal and mission

What an astonishingly rich and varied seven years Anne and I have had in the Diocese of Carlisle. We never imagined when we first moved here from a long incumbency in Shropshire that we would come to love Cumbria as much as we have. Our hearts have well and truly connected with the people of this astonishing County and with the churches that it has been our immense privilege to serve. And so it will be hard to leave and there will be more than a few tears shed as we drive away after our farewell service on 17 April.

Thank you for taking us to your hearts over these years, for supporting us in our ministries in the archdeaconry and in the Cumberland Infirmary, and for letting me take a few risks in developing Network Youth Church, the internship programme, the NMS link and the after school clubs initiatives as part of my brief through the Board of Education to help churches reach out to the children and young people of the County. It has been an exhilarating ride and we shall take with us countless indelible memories and lasting friendships as well as some valuable lessons learnt.

My own next post is to be Director of ReSource, based in Wells, but working nationally and, through the Rooted in Jesus programme, internationally for the church’s spiritual renewal.

I feel both humbled and honoured to have been asked to take up the reins of Martin Cavender’s inspirational leadership of ReSource before his untimely death last year. I can’t begin to think that I shall fill his ample shoes. I do, though, share the vison which inspired Martin as he and others brought ReSource into being twelve years ago from the twin strands of Anglican Renewal Ministries and Springboard, the Archbishops’ initiative in evangelism.

To my mind the genius of ReSource is that it holds together two things that should never be put asunder, namely the church’s life in the Spirit and the church’s call to mission. We want to see people and churches encounter God through the Spirit in ways that not only takes them higher in worship and closer in fellowship and deeper into the life of God Himself, but also wider in engagement with the world. It can never be an either or, renewal or mission. The two are inextricably linked in the one work of the Holy Spirit, who binds us to Father and Son and then propels us into the world He loves in order to make a transforming difference for the greater coming of His Kingdom.

ReSource simply offers itself as a resource to churches wanting to engage with the Holy Spirit’s work in renewal and mission.

We can’t begin to do it all, but we are there, as a staff team and as a network of volunteer church leaders, to help in any ways we can. We publish books and courses, provide speakers for regional and diocesan events, lead training days and church weekends, provide one to one support for church leaders and run Open Evenings across the UK with worship, Word, prayer and personal ministry. And as we listen to what help the churches need in the future we will add fresh resources and ministries as best we can. Do take a look at our website www.resource-arm.net or ask to receive our regular Newsletters and e news bulletins. And do talk to us, and give us your ideas!

It will be hard to leave Cumbria. But I shall keep you often in my thoughts and prayers, as the churches of this wonderful County press into their own deeper renewal and greater missional engagement in God for All.

And maybe ReSource can serve you from time to time along the way. It will be a joy and delight to do so!

 

Kevin Roberts

Archdeacon of Carlisle

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