Theology & Modernity Lecture – Making Social Justice Count – Ellen Loudon – 13th Nov 2017



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Ellen Loudon, Liverpool Diocesan Director of Social Justice and Canon Chancellor of Liverpool Cathedral, lead us in an exploration of Impact / Flourish / Buzz, an asset based theology of social justice, generosity and grace.

This lecture was delivered as part of the Theology and Modernity series of lectures given at St Bride’s Church Liverpool and given on Monday 13th November 2017

surprise in our lecture series fear killjoy reservatrol edges theories – nothing to be renamed the surprise public knowledge election or different opposite and it's like great pleasure to welcome Ellen here I'll introduce her prop in a minute just a couple of notices of course fire exit here when the budget church lose like a shirt straight through where the new signs are at the back there and destroy than your seats took a little bit about some Christchurch and our next lecture which is a book launch and by kobold Chandler who's coming out from America and to do a bit of a book to hear color of lip balm which comes very plain recommend any food if I don't like Michael Curry and be this Archbishop attack and all sorts of other people whose opinion I respect so great if you could share the word and he is a fantastic bloke as well and you bet it is really really good in my recent trip to New York [Laughter] to sign up for our mailing list we'd like to be kept up to date with all our events and things that are going on here it's a roughly monthly mailing that comes out from the church so you're not signing up too much put yourself down might know about it then do you put on there it's also a buzz to get the obligatory church donations that would be very great thank you it's very kind of you but now I forgot to pick up the two apologies before I start and there will be no further apologies I've got to pick up the clicker so I have to be here so that means that at certain points that you know it sort of massively interesting it's going to be some words but the second is that this is a work it so this is an apology this is just a caveat from which you can explore what's going to happen this is a work in progress and this is the first time I've tried to speak about this in this way but there's lots of little bits that maybe you've heard in different places that I'm trying to pull together and just try and talk about this in a in a way that might be of interest to us because I think this is starting to to resonate and starting to emerge or something I really want to try and press through so we'll see we'll see how we go so this is what this is what I want to talk about and I was know well that's a bit weird what's happened to you we were on the roll weren't we we were so optimistic about this and now it just is doing nothing seriously as completely stops okay so good start I was really really made I don't know if you remember seeing the poster for this this particular lecture you see that my first picture actually was just these little green these little green tags one of the things that we when I've started to have a think about how to talk a measure and make sense of a bigger difference it all started for me was went yet does anybody shopping Waitrose fumble or any of those supermarkets where they give you a little token because you've spent lots of money with them and they think oh we can give you this and you can walk out and you can choose to put it in the the dogs home that you know this the the very poor children although you know Scouts one of those things it's it's still really frozen hmm do we need to just turn it off and start turn it on again like they do in the it crowd Oh brilliant nope still mmm I'll have to threaten it again and its really wants to be a it wants to be a thing he doesn't it yeah so yeah no it's definitely it was doing everything it needs to do but not what I want it to so let's just let's do it let's make it go away and we'll bring it back ago so um so that the I was really taken by this way of kind of measuring a charities or a kind of good goodness a bigger difference I was really taken by this way that it's such a crass way to do it but nevertheless it's really fascinated me because somehow we will make we're making a judgement aren't we with that as to where we put where our money what you know little green tokens where our money goes to and so I started to think about and it's just not don't get me wrong this is not a new stuff people are trying to find ways to measure this and knowing me is one of those people who's kind of try to to crunch data in the past but how we as in our but and our diocese in our particular way of thinking and looking at this how we might be able to do this is that it's really fascinating okay well we've got a particular we've got a particular interest don't leave I cannot I just hate these new this funny okay we could have got we've got a big challenge in our diocese so Richard Paul I'll give you this in a little while but listen Paul has talked about a bigger church to make a bigger difference so the challenge for us immediately is we we can count the bigger church how do we count the bigger difference more people knowing Jesus more justice in the world again we can say maybe and I think measuring faith is problematic in itself but then measuring the impact that that our actions that emerge from our faith I think is even more problematic so so what I'm going to try and share with you today is some work in progress around this around this particular issue obviously I've just started to outline what I think is the problem how on earth do we start to measure what is the bigger difference what what I think is not the impact of my actions might not be the same as the impact that say you know Warren thinks that I'm having I might think I'm great maybe I'm not etcetera and we actually 'sons and I think it's as Christians who perceive us that we are generally quite humble people we would be quite tentative about being able to measure the impact that we have so I want to kind of outline a little bit about what the problem is and how we might move through this I want to lay a foundation so one of the things I want to talk about is the foundation to my theology of social justice and as the director of social justice it's a it's slightly different from social responsibility it's okay you know so responsibility it's a responsibility I think we change the word to justice because we're trying to use that yeah God's justice the notion of God's justice and how that's measured and and how that is interpreted so thinking about a theology of social justice and I'll just lay the foundation of why on earth I'm doing what I'm doing thinking about the mission so the mission in its broadest sense and how then that is talked about in terms of social justice what does bigger difference look like in terms of the way that we talk about the mission of the church I want to look at a biblical story a precedent for counting and they took that story isn't it no surprise to many people because it's the only story I've decided to tell for a year so will that uh we'll see how that one pans out and then our reflection on growth so what are we counting for what's the purpose on our count of our counting and if we're counting what is that an indicator of us getting more just or becoming numerically bigger ok so don't expect any solutions by the way that's that's a few years off we'll see how we get our way ok so the problem that I that I the biggest problem I have is just that um I really want to see the death of neoliberalism so I really really do not want to count social justice in the way that we count financial things and bums on seats I just don't think that that's going to work for this particular Slits this particular problem however and really interestingly I was at the launch of this paper but it was a Hester tyne Institute produced last week we should round the scale scope of value of the Liverpool City region social economy and it's a really good good paper don't get me wrong but the key issue I think with this is that it doesn't measure the social impact of the social economy it measures the financial impact of the social economy and I think that well that's I'm perfectly happy to invest some of my time in trying to measure this the financial you can make and growth in those terms impact of the bigger difference I don't think that's going to be enough to drive through a potential solution amongst all of God's people I just don't think that that will interest us for very long so I perceive that to be my biggest issue is how I measure bigger difference that is slightly different but nevertheless could talk to that problem but isn't so it's a different problem basically much of the work that we do in its response to human need so there's an expectation that will either continue indefinitely so when Jesus says the pool will always be amongst us or it will be resolved so either we have to agree that there will always be food banks and therefore we just feed that need or our social action our social responsibility our social justice leads us to drive towards the end of food banks so we it's it's so it's measuring it's what we actually want to measure so do we want to measure the number of people that come to a food bank or do we want to measure the number of food banks we close so I think that that's and it doesn't really matter to me what one we do I just want to be really clear what our objectives are so yeah so that's a problem I can't I haven't got a solution to that one either here we go the language is social justice the social changes like jelly and it never sets and it wobbles all over the place it literally we will talk about social justice just already we've talked about the thing that I do in two different ways is it responsibility is it justice is about mercy is it about the humility of the God's people to change the world for the better I haven't you know it everybody talks about in a different way so therefore unlike something you can better physically so I can tell you how many people are sat in this room and I can probably tell you eventually what your financial impact is on the church if you tell me how much you give happy etc how much you earn I can fight but I can't it's really difficult for me to have a complete transparent conversation with each of you about what you perceive is your impact in terms of justice in the world so it's again I know I'm sorry I don't really get coming with lots of problems no solutions here when I say we're not detected this in any extensive way before that and there are no benchmarks to precedent I'm really talking about us in our diocese there's been lots and lots of research on this hasn't known only loads and loads of research but there still yet to be a benchmark against which we can measure so it doesn't again if we know what the if we just create you know a people you know you did if you did Oh level chemistry you'll know like having a control there's no control there for us to say well we're going beyond this that's universally kind of I'll tell you about potential for a benchmark that maybe as a church we will have or the Church of England that we may have put in place but you know as well but certainly in our diocese there has been no consistent attempt to measure the social impact of anything that we do we have a lot of data on how many people come to church and how much money they generate that not very much on this so there you go those are all well problems so why do it I think that and hopefully in a minute I will explain to you logically why I think this is this that this is our story this is our good news this is our gospel this is the reason why Jesus did the things he did this to change the world for the better and I just don't understand why we tell the story of growth in any other way it just doesn't it doesn't compute with me and I think we just turn that round and talk about the good news like Jesus obviously yeah the Gospel writers did they just thought it was all impact it was story after story of the way that Jesus changed the world for the better so I do think we have to tell the story of the impact that we have I think that one of the reasons that those stories are told in the Gospels in the way that they are is because they were an encouragement to the early church to see through the difficulties that they were going through and I think if we don't tell these stories we will stop encouraging each other and I feel like I've got myself into a having come from an evangelical background you know measuring how many people said the Jesus Prayer I'm still would love you know I love those conversations where you think we'll help somebody to move further into their faith and have a deeper understanding of but actually to be able to help somebody to understand the significance and the impact that they're having on changing the world for the better that's to me the kind of stories that at the moment I have no idea what we do well and it's partly because I'm feeling like this again the feedback is a really good example I'm feeling like we do that really really well but we do something that's really bad really well and it makes me sad to think that we feed 300 people so it feels like we do something really really well each week that so I like I'm happy to let this happen and I want then some other people to fight for it and to shut you know doing the two things at work so I don't know what we do well and there's no benchmark there's no measure so I want to know how we can do what we do better so you know again measuring however we might measure it you just got to get going with it I want to know what we can do better and again I think if we don't have a way of measuring or making sense of it or having a narrative that we can speak into and speak to each other with we won't know what we can do better I think because we've got used to talking about our faith mission Lee talked about our faith in one particular way around Proclamation I'll talk about five marks a mission in a minute because we've got used to speaking about it in proclamation terms we've stopped being able to identify the language of social justice and to me it flows right the way through the whole Bible and it's it's the reason why we need to make sure we speak and read the Old Testament every week because that's the story of the people of God and I think that we need to fight if we don't start to count and we don't start to measure and don't start to talk and don't start to do with losing that incredible rich inheritance of social justice language at all levels with and I think identification about how we want to talk about this has to get better than just being nice and be do-gooders not that we do that but you know what I mean it's got to be if we can serve and gain there's a bit of a problem here if we're going to get bigger we're gonna have more time we're going to have more resources that's one scenario if we're going to get if the church is going to get smaller in the next decade or fifty years it's the same it's a it's a different problem but it still needs to be considered how we use our diminishing respond resources to have to still have the biggest impacts and if we don't know at least some have some sort of idea about what's what the previous questions are around we won't be able to use those resources wisely I think we've just got so used to just running around seeing a problem like it's like watching the sort of teenage teenage boys playing footballs like there's the ball or everyone run after the ball and so they get a manager that girl to mean it's just managing these resources effectively and so I think we have a better understanding of that we may well use our time and our resources more effectively so I thought I'll just talk to you a little bit about what the the grounding of this and then so that I think is the story that's the point that life and life in its fullness so we obviously have that promise about the boundless generosity of God and the call of the people of God to replicate this that's the call that's you know the basis of our of God's vision of a restored Kingdom is one of justice and mercy and that we're expected to participate in that Kingdom but a kingdom plan by ensuring that no one is excluded and everyone is welcome so that is the promise that's that's where we're up to you we know what the hard news is is that that seems really far off that we seem so unattainable that we just caught up in this never-ending cycle of not being able to get there and that's the you know we're there but not quite so it's how this story of good the good news the promise is going to be told to the world so how do we get that story out there and I don't know the solution but we we know that the story's ending is that the coming Kingdom is the thing that we should be striving for so participating in that Kingdom is kind of the point of our our um our endeavors are bigger difference are more justice in the world so I'm just going to run this so I'm going to run through where I think why why on earth I'm doing this really so my theology of social justice is predicated on the understanding it's a number of on so this one that God is radically generous and that we are called to replicate this this seems like really straightforward the generosity of God is our responsibility to replicate God longs for justice and mercy to be seen in the earth and for all people and calls on the church to enact that so there's the replication then there's the enacting it just here is our job basically that Jesus ministry inspires us to learn to do good to seek justice correct depression and bring justice and that is that's the basis I think of that inspiration that kind of needing to press on through it that Jesus death and resurrection who confronted the world order of desolation isolation from God and initiated the coming kingdom of liberation a new life if I didn't believe that I can't see the point of just doing this stuff it's about liberation it's about new life and it's about being part of a story joining in it and moving forward through it I also don't think that that is possible unless I'm equipped by the Holy Spirit you see how brilliantly twin time and that the Holy Spirit will equip us to join in that Kingdom story to follow Jesus example and live courageous liberated and just live to the glory of God I know I can't do that on my own I'm just too rubbish and I think that that I genuinely think that we as a church will we miss a trick when we try and think that we can do this stuff by ourselves it's it's just not what we're supposed to do we're different the story is is that we're equipped by the Holy Spirit to walk Linux and follow and be courageous and liberabit weak it I'm just not courageous without the Holy Spirit so five marks and missions everyone so the five marks of mission I know they these inspire me because they are the only thing that the Anglican Church can agree on oh well asked me papers gone so um mmm this is where we quite often get stuck on the proclamation of the good news of the kingdom so that's it now we can all just get out of that's that's what mission is all about isn't it but actually there are five more marks teach baptize nurture new believers respond to human need by loving service transform unjust structures of society to challenge violence of every kind of pursue peace and reconciliation he knew this was mission and the fifth one everybody the whole Anglican Church had agreed on these five months to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustained and renewed the life of the earth that's our mission that's what we agree mission is but we get stuck with one and completely forget so if we if the if the good news of the kingdom is justice mercy reconciliation stepped etc if that is the good news then we should be teaching baptizing and nurturing new believers into that good news it just seems what else is the good news and then the good news will then is that we respond to human needs by loving service that we transform unjust who knew that that was the point of the Church of England the whole Anglican Communion was to transform unjust structures challenging violence of every kind and BC piece and record of in this is just great this is this is a good mission to be part of isn't it why don't we know this this bizarre and safeguarding the integrity of the earth always comes first doesn't it yes I didn't write the five marks of mission that I think there's an assumption that this is a decide this is the this is the mission of the church to the world so that actually the church has a responsibility to each other to sustain a maintain discipleship for each other but actually this is our mission to the world the fact that that well I don't know it's um it did we do it I don't know we don't know we do really yes yeah yeah but it depends whether it's whether it's party political whether its political whether mean that those are just structures happen it can happen at every level any level some of us will be definitely called into the challenging bunch of structures in the kind of political sense but some of us might be literally sitting on a PCC because somebody is very annoying and rude and that actually the point is this is that you're trying to push the unjust structures that that that a small group of people have held on to power absolutely no idea I'm not making that up but there's all kinds of unjust structures that we live in I've got a brilliant badge in there haven't I I found I've got this badge it basically I'm wearing this because I've decided that that's the end of it I'm not going to pretend anymore just smash the patriarchy because I just don't think the patriarchy is very good for anybody but I think it's good for boys that I think it's good for girls for children anyway so whatever you know whatever badge you want to wear for now this so anyway shall I tell you a story of don't can anybody read that don't really want to read out loud for me Miranda could you read out loud for me appearance a large crowd following Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples now the Jews was near when he looked up saw a large crowd coming towards him Jesus sensitive where are we to migrate for these people's needs he said this to test him but he himself knew what he was going to do after him six months wages not by another assignment Peters brother said to him there is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish but also they want so many jesus people sit down then Jesus took the loaves and when he had given thanks he distributed them to all those teachers so also fish as much as they wanted when they were satisfied he told his disciples gather up the fragments left over so that nothing may be lost so they gather so Jesus attempts to withdraw from the people fail and they draw him in to the signs the actions of justice and mercy in healing and deliverance Jesus joins his disciples where they were and they're up in up up a mountain and the people come to him this seems to be the story all the time is this action of justice and mercy draws the people to Jesus and draws the people to his disciples you'll notice very early on in our story the need is identified how are we going to feed them good question one we mentioned before this is one we encounter every week don't you in the food bank Jesus expects Philip to come up with a plan how often do we say oh Jesus God why is there so much starving people in the world wises yeah Philip is telling us to come up with the plan straight away Philip identifies a really big problem massive problem and I don't exaggeration hyperbole I've absolutely no idea but it's clearly a massive problem for them too many people not enough money Andrew then outlines the resources that are available five barley loaves and two fish I don't know at this in this particular section you could take this as being Philip and Andrew being really sarcastic and rude to Jesus saying yeah what oh it's just literally a statement of facts but it always seems to me a little bit like how are we gonna feed them anyway and who has access to the resources the boy the boys they've identified the resources available and who has access to those resources there's a very interesting geographical No and that there was a great deal of grass in the place I've said this before I can't see why you were put that in there unless that was significant given the rest of the detail there must be something about the geography there we go but again you know if we think about the problems that we are encountering that we we see which we identify there's a problem we see you might have the resources we see what what is physically available there is an interesting note about resting and waiting I think I love this bit and this is where that Holy Spirit thing comes in again before anything happens Jesus says sit down rest and wait so you identify the problem where who's got the resources murdered sit down rest and wait and they sit down then there's the interesting note about counting so I'm encouraged to a certain extent that there is counting so there was interest at this 5,000 in all and as I said if that's men then there's usually a lot more women in church so therefore it's going to be quite a lot more women than men perhaps and children we know there's at least one because he's got all the resources Jesus gives thanks and again I that comes that's emerging from that rest and emerging from that pause and then it's distributed to those who are seated there's as much as they wanted interesting word around satisfaction I'm like you know it's such a it's a great word as it satisfies satisfied feels like it's a good satisfactory word nothing was lost nothing was wasted all the fragments are gathered in and even after all that everyone got what they wanted they were satisfied we're told there is huge amounts left over so that kind of disparity this something moment where you know that wasn't enough at the end of the story there's huge amounts left over the people who saw this miracle were under no illusion that this was a sign from God and signed that God had come in the world that the story of God that God the physical presence of God in Jesus was in the world and we're told and this is why our social justice is really important we're told they believed and they followed no they didn't they didn't believe and follow because Jesus had stood up and enacted the first mark of mission Jesus was destroying and breaking down unjust structures by this it's not possible in the structure and hierarchy of do you know the Jewish nation in that particular time it's not possible for this to happen on that strap every mark of mission is being enacted and lived out in this it's not just Proclamation so I'm gonna have to whiz now the story's important because I think it measures and evaluate social spiritual and physical change it's actually a story about all of those things it's about signs and wonders in our community it's about the extraordinary everyday happening that happens here that we don't have enough food we distribute the food we move it's just everyday miracle that we are engaged in and this is what this is it's a sign and Wonder in our communities our work our social justice work is evidence it's the living out its the the being the active role in continuing of Jesus work we are doing every time we enact and live out social justice we're doing what Jesus did and in it we're creating space for the holy spirit to transform what we have if we don't create that space the the bread and the fish aren't transformed by Jesus into something miraculous the tins are fish the pasta whatever then it's not turned into something miraculous it it we don't create that space then we we're missing out on so much of what our story is all about who we are if we get caught up in this and why this story is so extraordinary is because it's a story of generosity it's the story of fact the action of one small boy I mean this stories in every gospel so it's told ever differently every time but in this particular and there's one small boy with his little megamat and more actions it's not possible for that to do the thing it does without the initial act of generosity so that's a reason why this story and those doubts at the heart of this story right at the beginning there's doubt all the way there but actually this story replaces any doubt with flourishing at the end of the story people are flourishing that it's just an extraordinary story of flourishing and just want to just see give you give you that back to see how that story fades back into that where I started from in terms of my theology the way that I think about God the way that I think about my motivation for this so I'm going to quickly waste through something for you I'll leave you with this and I'll just ask these questions and that and we haven't got enough time to reflect out loud but we may be in our questions we can so what's the presenting need that you've noticed and this will be different for everyone or it might be a shared need in that story Andrew and Phillip have that conversation with Jesus and they very recognize there is need there's not enough food we haven't got enough money you know what we're going to do what can what can you offer so what do you have a couple of loaves and some fishes you know what is it that you have to offer small insignificant offering that up are you willing to offer it up to be blessed are you ready to take action and are you ready and this is really significant and for in terms of what I'm going to talk about in a minute about in terms of the impact if you are if you do offer it up if you are willing you have to deal with the consequences and then the consequences in you know my theology in this way that this story and live is it told is this that it will take off a little spot expand way beyond any of your own sort of our own limitations so while we ready for that so I'll give you this this is this is a joke this is I don't know is this one of my crazy ideas where it was it oh here is Jonah I'm sorry some of them a color and some of them are black and white and it's not it's not personal if you get a black and white one it's just the printer went funny so mmm I was trying to because because I'm trying to find ways to measure social justice that are like they're a bit like those little green things you put in the pot but they're not like money and it's about a transaction in some way but it's not like a financial transaction so I don't know how to talk about so I just started talking about it and seeing if I can better it in a slightly different way so I thought that if we have impact plus flourishing and abuzz we'd see growth that seems to be the story of the feeding of the 5,000 that was impact we're still flourishing created a buzz and then we're told it grew so there we go impact being what we can measure flourish is the story of the difference making versus the culture that we create as a result of our difference making and growth is what happens because we expect Jesus to transform the little we have into the miraculous generosity that we need seems really simple doesn't it suddenly so impact is what we do to make a difference and you know what you do there's no good me telling you what you do to make a difference and everybody will do something different but you and some of you will do it collectively but it's what we do the ordinary amazing things that we do to change the world for the better the random acts of individual acts of justice and mercy and the way that we speak and witness to the glory of God it's just the way that we are who we are what what is flourishing I think we don't flourish on our own that seems like us it's like a bit of a pointless thing and the whole point of the feeding of the 5,000 is 5,000 people flourished together they got a lot of stuff from very little and it was it was driven by a small leadership team but nevertheless it was about flourishing together so it's being on purpose playing a part in the change and witnessing difference witnessing I think is really important the reason why those people were so transformed because they played a part in it but they also were witness to it it's also around that collaborating in amazing difference making acts in our community I genuinely as well do not think that we can do this unless it's something that makes our heart sing I don't it's awful to think that the food bank is gently the creates a buzz because it feeds you know it but whatever it is that makes your heart sing whatever it's deep deep inside you that you know that you have to do and pleasure isn't quite the right words but it's just something that you you know it's the story of your life it's just it's the thing you have to do it's a song that you have to sing I think the boss that we create in this and the buzz that happened in the story of the five thousand is one massive Kingdom connections together happen in the name of Jesus than one of the extraordinary things that happens in that story is is that they understand that Jesus is God coming into the world massive massive leap in terms of the way that the people were were connecting with Jesus and they made that together there was this connect that was like penny dropped together I think it is about celebration and it's about seeing God's work in our communities and celebrating it and it's not taking that step isn't it everybody saying yes I'm doing it I'm making the impact I can see I'm flourishing my community's flourishing but actually it's God's work that I've walked into sharing that indiscriminately and celebrating it with others not holding on to it not seeing it as our own something that we contain we hold we we can determined than it is walking into God's planning and then seeing justice and mercy flow so I'm real sorry I'm I'm really going fast now so I think growth is what happens when we as in Jesus disciples make an impact flourish together and create an irresistible buzz that's what the feeding the 5,000 that's the story that's all it is to me so you see what I've done here so pulled the five marks of mission and say this is what I think it's really difficult because I think the church will grow if we do this and I think that van can be the measure to do sedulously – what I mean is that if we do this the church will grow and then rather than the other way around so if growth can be a measure for social change and we start to measure it the other way around we start to use different language than bombs on seats then we will engage in mission in a holistic way we will see the proclamation of good news articulated in terms of justice and mercy we will baptize and nurture people into bigger difference collective individually will respond to human needs in a way that has significant impact and it will can we will ask that question if we if we engage in need here will it make an impact what will the impact be will it change we will see unjust structures crumbling if we're engaging in responding to human need in a way that challenges unjust structures we will see those start to crumble away and again this holistic change in the way we care for the earth it just seems like a really bizarre thing we just don't do it it seems like it's almost like I'm so I went to when I went to this one the rook the launch of this report there was a very significant investment organization in the city there saying how brilliant was that sowing around 30 percent of their investment portfolio was ethically invested it was like does not mean that 70 percent of it isn't it's like the wrong as to the it's like the living way so that we should be really proud in this city that 8 percent or 10 percent of all employees employers pay the living wages that that would so we're happy enough that 90 percent of them don't you know pay away so that people can't live what it's so it just seems like a really like we've started looking at the world in a really peculiar way there you go so it seems to me really straightforward the biblical precedent suggest that we will go grow America when we gather a crowd and we will see the kingdom come it just it just don't understand why we do it any other way really so hope to slow down really I haven't timed this because I've run out of time – Tanya that's what happens so when we're moving in the next phase of what we're trying to do in the diocese and oversight teams we've heard what Bishop Poole says about bigger dick Church to make a bigger difference we are you know God but asking God to do that more people knowing Jesus more justice in the world and trying to say well let that's the story that's that's where we're at that is what we're trying to do but how are we going to bring somebody new into that story so the next challenge is is that how do we bring somebody with us to join this join in it so that you probably noticed and that the bulletin of various other things are kind of inviting somebody in to our story for Advent and leading into Christmas and that being if you let people that you disagree with tell the story then you'll never get a chance to tell the story yourself so finding a way to tell God's story in the way that that means that you can bring somebody else into it equipping God's people that's Miranda's job that's the readers job that's you as leaders that's you as we're equipping God's people to tell the story is really really vital and joint getting people to join on the on the adventure of God that as God set before us yeah I really want to be able to tell the good news so I want to find a way to articulate it better from you so I think this is the big this is the big conundrum really is that this is this is kind of my the stuff I'm lying out my stall here but I still don't solve the problems that I you know flagged up at the beginning and perhaps in the next of five ten minutes we can start to think about together and give me some ideas about where to take this work next about how we want this difference to count so how is this going to actually count and how am I going to take this back to the bishop and say that this work happens because the so we'll come back and talk to that in a minute but I did want to share this with you because I think this is quite when I said at the beginning that we didn't have a benchmark that was universal things have slightly changed in the last year in that this year for the first time churchwardens when you feel filling in your mission stats form for the first time incumbents we have an opportunity to answer a question number 14 on your mission stats form that will give us at least some indication and a benchmark about what kind of work is happening in churches yes there is one two three four five six seven eight nine plus another and it gives you a will for the first time enable me to see what is actually happening but it's only going to work if people fill in these four homes it's all online we usually get about Nami what's the combat usually you're doing now we don't know from the diocese usually we're getting from our mission stats forms we get sort of like something 7080 percent which is really very good but we don't know what the impact of this is where the people are just a telecom mother so this is going to be very important for me too in terms of what's how to benchmark I want to just share with you this some oh the outcomes of the questions in practice report and again how they write the can you actually see this is really little isn't it how they've identified activities for bigger difference activities in in in that report and the impact that that's how that has made an impact again statistical evidence but nevertheless really useful in terms of how people are going to talk about the impact that social justice has again on the pink page is about how that connects those connections and activities go beyond the church and the effect that that has I'm only showing this with you because I didn't want you to think that nobody else is doing this and nobody's ever thought about it it is happening but it's just how it how extensive it's going to be and how we then choose to talk about it and what that impact looks like and then I just again the last thing I wanted to share with you was this the the research these are the headlines from the the that report that was released by the Hesseltine Institute last week and what it demonstrates is that across the voluntary faith community sector we have a really big impact and working together and I'm buying it being able to identify and isolate and and look at our resources there's an awful lot going on here but as I say so far we can measure the financial impacts of it but not the impact of the social change itself so again if anybody's got if anybody Ponder's this stuff and has any kind of miraculous so transformation of thinking and I was really useful to hear it and have a you know have your feedback on it so that's it there we go wasn't too bad was that more would you like if there are any questions me to stay here and answer questions yeah that would be a good thing but wouldn't necessarily be like the food back closing could be worse they didn't need it anymore yeah some church structures probably need to crumble if they're not just so it wouldn't necessarily link into their needing to be a church no um I think it's entirely possible that I would I think the question is is that if we know what the issue is we know what the resources are and we have some sort of benchmark if the if the church gets smaller it will it will be for the right reasons I think the difficulty at the moment is is that the chances are is that the church will get smaller because people die which is actually really bad for you to wait to get smaller I think that it's entirely possible that the unjust structures crumbling and people become disaffected with it for those reasons made me but then it also might mean a flood gate is opened on the other end I just don't know I just don't know but it doesn't worrying about what the effect of it that doesn't seem to be what the mission is the mission is to do it so part one yeah absolutely an unintended consequence of the destruction of patriarchy might be that men just give up and go take to their bags that seems to be an unlikely scenario but you never have sorry yeah I don't know the answer because so Christian a date I don't know how they I don't know how they manage their mission and I don't know what because I don't but I don't have that mean it just depends well how they make the decisions that they make I guess I'm looking at us as a church and specifically the Church of England and even more specifically the Diocese of Liverpool and but I think how we identify mission so say Christian aid might say all right so if we go back to the five marks of mission interesting when I've done some work around the five marks of wishing with people one of the things that happens is that sometimes people when so if I get people to go back here to say what in terms of their action their social justice action where they fit it into the five months of mission so first of all when I saw when I talked to pcc's you know I've really happily come and speak to you it small group or bigger Church really whether so talking about that what what's what's the theological or the biblical or the rationale any rationale for the thing that you do so just to get to start to talk about it some people got a really clear so it might be the wedding at Cana might be just Mary might know but everybody has different reasons why they engage in social justice some people say well I don't engage in social justice I just do stuff and you think well why'd you do so it's really just dig into that and then once people got a language and they've got a story it's then saying well okay well where do you act where does your action fit and some people who have reticular theology might say well my action fits into one so my action is some people who have particular theology might start or way of talking about social justice may see their social justice mainly being in three so they see it as that is loving service some people might might actually be engaging in social justice because it's etc so once you start to think about where you where it all sits when you when you hear that story in a group you'll be surprised that most of those remarks of mission are articulated in some way and if they're not then it's then you start to identify where your gaps might be so it's a really interesting piece of work and I think that when you think about Christian aid they may look at that and they may say actually we are in loving service and they get themselves charities that we get you know this is the reason why we know we must have get too focused on being a charity because charities will feel sometimes stuck and and unable to engage fully with for because they feel that the charity the charity laws don't allow them to push I would contend that they the charity laws do allow them to push but I can see why people would get stressed out about that but I don't know somewhere you know you push until it gives don't you yeah I think um I think it's about I don't know for me it's a bit like infiltration really so I think if you can find a way to do that so I mean I don't know how useful in terms of the work that I'm doing with the city region and how useful that's going to be but it seems like too much to me it seems like a possible a possible way to act as an infiltrator into a structure that might give a little as the world set out at the moment I think it feels like there's an inevitability that we'll we'll be party political but I don't think it should be I think we've seen some really good just Conservative MPs in the past and I don't see why we shouldn't see them again it feels a bit fragile at the moment we've also seen some very unjust Labour Party candidates who quite frankly you know in its the structures that have not allowed women to rise up through the Labour Party that have not encouraged younger people to take an active role it's the party that doesn't really have a very strong policy on green politics and all of those things that you even in party political terms we have a responsibility to kick back we're certainly one of the reasons why I ended up joining the women's equality party as well as the Labour Party because I just felt that that just was just not being attended to so be a spy and infiltrator in society so irritated and yet what we do is is that we you know at some Brides you you we support a Food Bank that essentially is the perfect example of the big society we are solving by solving injustice we're creating or collaborating with injustice and you're absolutely right and this is why I think it's really interesting conversation around three and four this it's what sixty years since the beverage report this year and the big I mean for me the big questions been how do we how do we as a church start to engage in that that idea that we that we might become service providers again should we become service providers and if we do how do we do that and do we want to become do we really want to make competitive bids with organizations like surco it's not really what we want to do do we want to go back or do we decide to be smaller and just focus on the remit of I'm not sure that there's an answer I think possibly we have to try all of them and see what happens which gives yeah I don't think we have a capacity in the church to be service providers on the level of surco I just I even think that we don't have when we can barely keep food banks open but that means maybe we had to be more irritating yeah absolutely but then all of us would have to agree that that would be our mission so all of us would have to stop doing other things so we'd have to stop engaging in yeah we'd have to say well okay we're going to all and that's not how people you'd have to then read it's just I the nightmare of procurements I just don't know it is it is an absolute nightmare isn't it and the amount of collateral you have to have which is why surco can do it because they can they can say that they have X number of million start there so if it all goes belly-up yeah we have and and so them good aspects I mean it absolutely completely has to because I don't think the church can any longer see itself as being a goalkeeper that's just stops bulls getting in the back of the net I think it has to go out there and play and if it's going to go out there and play it's what game is it playing and I think that's the difference I just don't know how to play it at the moment other than just go and give it a go because if we're constantly measuring what we don't do yep it's going through place-based approaches to the place based in the community so halfway up a mountain on a piece of grass just where you happen to be isn't it what I would have thought so but it doesn't it doesn't seem to you know necessarily yet Amanda having long discussions with my we could talk about measuring the impact chaplaincy was having in order to justify two institutions to each other and we were looking at measures but we had somebody a really big discussion about whether actually they were the right things to measure or whether actually was playing into unhelpful games to try and measure those things now he went on to do a PhD on the impact that chaplaincy was having in neonatal units and he was talking to me about narrative based evidence which is about analyzing story rather than doing the amounts of things I just wondered if that was something you'd looked at or might look at in the kitchen nothing I know a lot about but it sounded like quite an interesting way of approaching it yeah it is isn't it and I think that's that's basically almost what I'm saying is is that you have to it have to look at it in it in a narrative way but it's again how how that narrative has impact that's that's the comes to the I got the impression from all he was saying that there was some slightly more academic basis than just we're telling stories yeah talking about doing word analysis all the story it's time-consuming which is why the investment is hard we we have evidence to see and the health and well-being in a report that political city council commissioned and I'm thinking that there is a parallel of that you could do know how to look at no you're absolutely right because the Arts Council the government everyone is always saying you have to edit have to have evidence you have to show that they've had to happen and we don't like me doing that because that's how you get funding you say well look at this statistic look at this and grab things from the record has been done so yes there is a lot of work in it does take initial investment but once you've got it bang you can then you slice it to get funding to get those organizations on it is actually a really serious question the grass the significance of the grass um well you know I I it's in most of the stories isn't it I say at three out of four of the stories mention the fact that they are in the grass I think it's a it's um it's it's it's the beginning of the flourishing it seems to be there's also something about the plot the the place for rests ya know I love this place where we're in the middle of one at the moment actually the grasses about the resources actually the resources they've got are actually five blows to fish and a lot of grass but nobody even thought to mention the grass you know that they didn't say eleven lots of grass they'll talk about feeding people it seemed totally irrelevant but actually Jesus who notes as soon as you go sit down for there is some yeah actually one thing we can do is sit you down an organizer into this space because actually is looking at the gift they've got of the place this is about something about place isn't it yeah so what you were thinking no one drinks on a more mystical drinking of it like that about it being about the place but maybe that's something that has to be considered well what is it that's you what about and taking it down to its midnight I mean you know you minutia it's just like what makes it possible for the food bank to happen here what is it about this place that makes it the grass and every activity what is the place that creates the opportunity for us I don't know it just seems like such a you for all the words that you to waste it doesn't seem like a something to waste words on it because it comes up so often in the stories as well in all but then you one of the things about asset and about this story is you can't work out of deficit if you haven't got it then you can't make it happen so if they hadn't got the grass they couldn't sit on it does that do you want to mean it's if they haven't got the fish and yeah you have to do something else then so it's the presenting problem is the resources you have available and what you're going to do with them grass to sit on you couldn't feed them so just a quick question that I need to about is it worth me keep pursuing this and keep pushing it I don't I don't know I mean if you so and if and if you have any blinding thoughts or anything that you just want to add please let me just tell me because it is just out there kind of in a mix really so thank you [Applause] giving us some of that I think it's very very much do you feel free to adopt do feel free to have another cup of tea we are

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