Every time I press the Refresh key in Google Reader, I’m reminded that I’m speaking at Wycliffe College’s Refresh conference tomorrow. I’m doing two sessions on Church in a Digital Age. Graham Kendrick and Marva Dawn are the keynote speakers at the conference.
Imbi and I will be shooting an interview with Graham at some point this week. The focus won’t be on Graham’s music (though he may well be the Charles Wesley of my generation) but rather on his years of involvement with Ichthus in London. The Ichthus model of cell, congregation, celebration still has much to say to the Fresh Expressions of church in the UK – and however FX morphs in the Canadian context. (It is being explored in both the Toronto and Montreal dioceses of the Anglican Church of Canada.)
A recent critic of FX (Fresh Expressions) complained that this “movement” was creating groups that were profoundly homogeneous. Goth expressions, cop expressions, surfer expressions – you get the drift. (Hamo blogs about the email that a number of us got from our friend, Andrew Menzies alerting us to this critique. Read the comments on Hamo’s post, please.)
We read this critique while we were exploring the FX model in the UK (for most of April). Imbi commented that there might be some validity in the critique if these FXs never connected with the wider body of Christ in the areas where they were located. She reminded me of our Ichthus experiences in 1987 (in the UK) where we attended one of Ichthus’s twice monthly celebration services. Celebrations where as many folk as possible from the congregations throughout London came together.
We wondered how and if the now 700 FXs in the UK connected with the wider church body in their locations (while seeing how Pete and Kath Atkins along with Pete Pillinger were insuring the interconnectedness of FXs in Lincolnshire – more on that at a later date.)
Graham Kendrick is a good friend of Bishop Graham Cray (one of the leaders of FX, and co-author of The Mission Shaped Church) and it will be interesting to get his perspective on what’s happening in the UK.