Crossing Bridges

Staff_team_2015 Posted by Roger Cooke, 16 days ago | 0 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

The Wobbly Bridge
On 10th June 2000, amidst much pomp and hype, the Millenium Bridge was opened in London. On 12th June 2000, amidst much embrassment and criticism, the Milleniumn Bridge was closed. It remained shut for over a year and a half, before reopening in February 2002.

Despite the £18.2m price tag and the 19-month construction period, there was a flaw in the design. When large numbers of people used the footbridge, it swayed. And not just gently. People complained of feeling ‘seasick’; some fell over. Londoners dubbed it ‘The Wobbly Bridge’.

An innovative, beautifully designed crossing point over the Thames, linking St Paul’s Cathedral and the City of London with the Tate Modern and Bankside. But for 20 months, it was useless.

It’s not enough just to build bridges. They need to be crossed.

Act, Love, Walk
As part of CMSI’s strategic planning process for the next five years, we’ve found ourselves returning to familiar words from Micah:

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)

This isn’t everyone’s favourite translation of the verse (NIV), but I love the pairings of verbs and adverbs: the listener/reader is implored to act justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly.

When it comes to putting my faith into action, I’m often guilty of ‘talking a good game’. I embrace the idea, I espouse the importance, I engage with the theory, but I tend to fall short of putting thought into practice. I can maybe manage to ‘love’ mercy, at least as an ideal, but when it comes to ‘acting’ or ‘walking’, I fall short of God’s requirements for justice and humility.

Maybe that’s why I’m always so impressed and inspired by our Global Partners. They may work in different ways and in different contexts, but every one of our partner dioceses, churches and organisations seems to be so active, so engaged. Theory becomes practice: see the need, meet the need. It’s not just about building bridges – it’s about crossing over and making connections.

Crossing over
We’ve just received an update from HDCS, our partners in Nepal, providing information about the devastating floods and landslides that have struck the country. They asked for prayer for the country and for those who have lost their homes. They also outlined their plans to support affected communities through their rapid response teams and health workers, distributing water purifying tablets, medicines, dry food items and water bottles.

See the need, meet the need. Crossing over, making connections.

At staff prayers last week, Kelly shared an update from the Diocese of Madi West Nile in Uganda, relating some of the work the Church has been carrying out in the huge refugee camps: providing play materials for children, faciliating workshops, offering training to church leaders…

See the need, meet the need. Crossing over, making connections.

Annual Theme
CMSI seeks to equip the Church in mission by helping to make connections between different parts of the global body of Christ. We try to bring people together, to develop partnerships, to encourage relationships. But these links aren’t just for their own sakes. We long to see them bearing fruit – to see lives and communities transformed.

Our new annual theme allows us to share stories of these connections and their impacts. It also offers us a chance to focus on the role the Church is playing – and needs to play – in promoting peace and reconciliation. And we’re particularly keen to highlight the work of the Church in Egypt – a ‘bridging point’ if ever there was one.

Please join with us as we commit to a new year of mission and try to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly. May this be a year of crossing bridges together.

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