Presence, Participation, Partnering: steps on a Pioneering Journey

Today has been a good day for dreaming about community development. We had the privildge of hosting a conversation between our new town and representatives from another substanital housing development. We chose to focus on two things: a community development framework that links well with Asset Based Community Development, and four key ways that we live that out here in Northstowe

  • Presence – there are times when we simply, prayerfully, hold a space where people can feel safe. For example, offering chaplaincy support in school, or inviting people to “bring their blues to the Stable Scene” on Longest Night.
Revd Beth Cope, Pioneer Minister for Northstowe, pictured outside 
Northstowe’s 2021 Nativity Scene.
Revd Beth Cope, Pioneer Minister for Northstowe, pictured outside
Northstowe’s 2021 Nativity Scene, where people had tied prayer, hopes, and messages to the manger.
  • Participation  – sometimes, another group will have started something great, and we can join in. For example, we took the Deckchair Listening Project to the Northstowe Running Festival, and we’re bringing a pop-up band to the Friends of Pathfinder School Christmas Fayre.
  • Partnering  – often, in our new town, projects are bigger than any one group could achieve, so we work together to pull off something special. For example, we brought together those of many religious and non-religious beliefs at the recent Act of Remembrance, and we’re helping prepare for the Switch On event as part of Northstowe Winter Festival

But sometimes, especially in a new town, we need to do more than just these: we need to step out, take risks, dream big…  Pioneer something new.

Pioneering starts with being present: listening to those around us… and for what God is already up to! It involves participation in what is already happening, and then, in partnership, taking the next steps together. And, through that process, starting to imagine and work for a future as yet only glimpsed in our prayers. This definition captures it well:

‘Pioneers are not just dreamers, they are ‘dreamers who do’, capable of turning dreams into reality, or at least taking the risk to try and do so.  Pioneers draw in others to do this.”


So how about it?

If you have big dreams for Northstowe…if you have a sense that there is something Someone might be preparing you to be part of……come and join us putting dreams into action!  Especially if church isn’t normally where you’d start.

And now is a great time to get involved.

Because we believe that the Christmas story is one where the impossible happens. Where a story of No Room is turned on its head, and God steps out of heaven in order to change Earth… and so make room for you to be part of something special!

And if church is already your thing? We need your support in prayer, from right where you are!

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