Council Digest – March 2021
In order to help me prepare this article, I have been re-reading the Minutes of our Council meeting, which took place fully on-line at the beginning of the month. I find myself astonished once again: first of all at the breadth of the business that was transacted and secondly, at the depth of the informed discussion which took place in the short space of time we had available.
I am so grateful to the National Team for their leading; for the ‘Tech Team’ for their support in facilitating our gathering; and most especially for the Council members for their attentive listening and their provision of wise counsel, as we seek to move forward as a family of churches.
I find it hard to compress the richness of the dialogue which took place in order to present this digest. Perseverance, togetherness and future thinking were key, as we reflected on how our churches have been able to continue in mission and find creative ways to worship throughout what has been a very difficult year.
Following our stated theme of ‘Transformations, Generations and Innovations’, we observed that indeed, people have been transformed in coming to faith; generations have explored new ways of being community together; and innovation has been in the forefront, as churches have adapted in different ways to the use of new technologies.
We seem to have recognised afresh the value of being a network of churches together and have grown closer to each other over this time of restrictions, as we continue to find different ways to be church and bring the love of Christ to our communities.
Looking to the future whilst building on what has been learned were the focus as we discussed Canopy 2021; a new staffing structure for the National Team; and an updated way of organising how BUS can provide financial support to our churches.
We heard about Innovation Collectives, through which a number of our ministers are considering future directions together; Renew Wellbeing Spaces, through which many of our churches are becoming actively involved in reaching out to others; and the development of microchurches, currently being explored by some groups.
As is usual at this time of year, the BUS Finances were presented, following which the Council agreed to the BUS’ budget for the coming year and set the level of both the per capita figure and the Reference Stipend.
We also heard reports from the Board of Ministry and the Mission Initiative Group, as well as news from BMS World Mission.
This meeting was incredibly positive and to me, there was a strong sense of the Holy Spirit’s presence with us throughout. I trust that both the Council members and you are left feeling that BUS is in a very good position, as it sits on the cusp of new things happening, both in our churches and with new staff about to join the National Team, ready to lead and support us all going forward.
Wishing you all every blessing in Christ,
Frances J. Bloomfield
31 March 2021