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CEL home > Links + Internat > Aug 2007

 

Chris WaltonChris Walton - FIVE MINUTE TALK FOR CEL 25th ANNIVERSARY

Challenge to CEL for next the twenty-five years:

To develop the tools, strategies and a spirituality which supports, nurtures and energises Christian disciples (who live in a secular, post-modern era asking, 'How can we sing the Lord's song in an alien land?).

 

The new vision statement provides the framework

  • Pioneering practical Discipleship - in the name of Jesus (by which I mean every small or not so small action is understood to be done in the name of Jesus whether or not it is so named.
  • Equipping prophetic witness - standing against the militaristic consumer society, first by deed in our own lives, then by word in our proclamations.
  • Empowering Agents of Change - encouraging engagement in the social and political movements of the day, leading some and co-operating with both Christian and other faith and non-faith organizations; loosening our grip on the principalities and powers, and loosening the grip of the principalities and powers on us; involvement, providing the support for getting hands dirty.
  • Letting loose Hope - which also means expressing grief, anger and pain. This is Jeremiah-type Hope which dares to express despair , see Jeremiah 20).

 

This framework is prophetic because it is energised by the kind of hope which is constantly reshaped in new situations providing the imagination to put into speech new possibilities beyond the end of the old dispensation. This is Christian hope which provides the energy to speak and act a new world into being, the Kingdom after militaristic consumerism.

Putting this framework into action requires a robust spirituality; a Spirituality to both live and die for (i.e. to see what it is that God wills that I shall do; to find the idea, the way for which I am willing to live and die - Kierkegaard). It will:

  • be situated or located in exile (instead of exodus)
  • about reconnection with all creation, all living and non-living things
  • about incarnation and enfleshment
  • include grief and loss, struggle and suffering
  • say Yes to creation radically changing our relationship with all creation (relational consciousness)
  • insist that we remain alert, awake, and wait and listen to the least of the least the poor, the vulnerable, the children
  • include the mind (as well as emotions)

We aim to be disciples who:

 

Live covenantal conversation

Speak honestly before God

Offer hope (through struggle and despair) to a church whose truth telling voice has often been tamed and muted

Make daring speech which is our biblical mother tongue

Worship, Prayer, and discipleship will become again a dangerous act - and we will need the resources to deal with the consequences.

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