God's Tent Pitched Among Us: A New Pattern for Rural Church Mission

by and Helen-Ann Hartley (foreword)

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Book Details

Rating: ★★★★★

Format: Paperback (125 pages)

Publisher: Sacristy Press

Date of Publication:

ISBN: 978-1-78959-097-5

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At 3 p.m. on the third Sunday of the month, if you are out and about in Tynedale in West Northumberland, you might see a six-metre bell tent pitched in a field, by a river or on a hilltop. This is God’s Tent. Gathered there you will find a mixed group of children, parents and young adults exploring stories of faith and God’s love for us in the landscape of Northumberland.

This book tells the story of God’s Tent and offers an introduction and guide to how to begin to pitch God’s Tent in different contexts. It is also a reflection on the contemporary debates and conversations in the Church of England over the future mission and ministry of the Church. Beginning with the Mission-shaped Church report, and then coloured by the Renewal and Reform programme of recent years, the Church of England is going through a period of change which has not been seen in generations. God’s Tent has been born in the midst of these debates and so acts, in a small way, as a worked example of how we might begin to navigate the frontier between the inheritance of the Church and its call to innovation. The book explores the deep creative richness of the metaphor of our God who “pitches his tent among us”, found in the book of Exodus and particularly in the prologue to John’s Gospel.

The God who pitches his tent among us is not only a defining picture for how we can understand who God is through the imaginative remembering of the Old Testament. This picture was developed by the first Christians to understand who God is for us in Jesus. Through reflecting and improvising on this picture of a tent-pitching God we find a creative way to explore this story of who God is, and in it become a worshipping community formed and created in relationship to our tent-pitching God.

By the very nature of the Tent, worship and environment are brought together in natural and holistic ways. … The author is to be congratulated on his generous sharing of a range of creative ideas. If a rural church or group of churches is looking for a fresh, realistic initiative to develop mission, this book will serve very well.

James Francis, Rural Theology

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