By Meghan Hatcher
Since returning from London in August, I have felt a contradictory mix of restlessness and stillness. I am restless to be doing the work of the ministry to which I am called right NOW, but I am in a life season that requires relative stillness as I finish my final year of study at Wesley Theological Seminary. My imagination and passion for the work of the storytelling ministry that I launched in Fall 2017 was only invigorated by the Learning Lab experience. The multitude of unconventional and innovative ministry examples the group encountered in London stretched my imagination to see how good work that e mbodies the ministry and mission of Christ can be accomplished in the world, alongside and outside the Church (the Earlsfield experience being a prime example, see photos).
By Kate Floyd
Recently, I spent some time in an urban garden in the neighborhood of Earlsfield, in South London, UK. The garden stands between the largest prison in Europe and the busiest highway in the country. It’s named: Paradise.
Paradise, indeed. Bees buzz around their hives, pollinating the nearby sunflowers. Cherry tomatoes overflow, tasting like candy still warm from the sun. Rows and rows of cucumbers and kale, greens and carrots, grow next to wild blueberry bushes. And if that weren’t picturesque enough, a yurt perches in the back as a home for napping toddlers during their outdoor school days.
By Beth Ludlum
*Originally posted on Baltimore-Washington Conference website.
"You just might be God’s answer to the question your community is asking.”
This sentiment, articulated by a ministry partner in London, captured one impulse that drives the Change Maker’s Project. Launched this summer, the Change Makers Project supports young adults in hearing God’s call to innovative ministry through mentoring, missional immersions, entrepreneurial community engagement, and vocational conversations.
This year, 22 diverse young adults are engaged from three geographic regions: Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Western Maryland. The Change Makers are accompanied by eight mentors, all ordained Elders in the Baltimore-Washington Conference, whose role is to foster theological reflection, spiritual growth, and vocational discernment. Each cohort had initial gatherings in May and June, and the cohorts began the learning journey with a trip together to London in July 2018.