Starfish Network member Peter Jones introduces a new network aimed at connecting rural pioneers
I am delighted to have this opportunity to share with you the mission and vision of this new and exciting network for pioneers working in rural communities.
As a pioneer beavering away in rural Dorset it has become clearer that as pioneers in rural communities, we can often begin to parallel in our own lives, practice and journey the needs that exist in the communities we seek to serve.
We can often find ourselves isolated with little or no accountability or support. So as a psychotherapist with a mental health background I concluded that a possible focus of the network would be the wellbeing of the pioneer in rural communities.
My own experience tells me that we can often, as pioneers, take our wellbeing and mental health for granted. We become isolated and find ourselves hitting a brick wall.
The network will offer a home and a place to belong for the pioneer in the rural context. By creating a community like this it will also create a space for:
- peer support
- theological reflection: I believe we need to discover a theology for pioneering Rural communities. I call this pioneering with intentionality.
- sharing our achievements and aspirations
- sharing stories and challenges
- pooling our experiences and practice
It’s been my growing conviction for sometime, that God’s Spirit is moving powerfully in rural communities but outside the mainstream church. I see the fruits of the Holy Spirit in the communities I serve on daily basis. As a pioneer I see my vocation as simply joining in with what God is already doing. So, a key purpose of this network is to help discern the Holy Spirit, his work and mission in our rural communities and get a sense of the bigger picture and what God is doing in our rural communities.
At this point I’d like to take this opportunity to invite all rural pioneers to join this adventure so that we can journey together to grow hope in our communities.
Please contact me through CMS or email me directly firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to welcoming you aboard this new network.
I hope to pick up some of the themes raised in this blog at a future time.