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Metamorphosis is our new name to describe our MU approach to community transformation. Metamorphosis will now be used to describe our inward looking work (MULOA) and our work in engaging with our churches and communities (Stories on the Street).
The Collins Dictionary states ‘When a metamorphosis occurs, a person or thing develops and changes into something completely different.’ This is what we dream of for us as individuals, in our branches, in our churches and communities as we reflect on the bible and pray together, build relationships and expand our networks and work together in changing lives.
Metamorphosis was launched at a fringe event that Mothers’ Union ran at General Synod in July. This was a great opportunity to engage with clergy and lay members and to inspire them as to what the Mothers Union is doing.
Sheran Harper, our Worldwide President, spoke at our fringe, describing the roots of Metamorphosis as coming from our worldwide work. She described how this process in Guyana had enabled one church and community to respond to a disaster by mobilising its own resources.
Canon Mike Booker, the Bishop’s Change Officer for Market Towns in Ely Diocese spoke about the impact of Metamorphosis in Wisbech. He explained how effective Metamorphosis is in isolated and deprived market towns and that the process builds confidence and has led to many new initiatives in the town such as coffee mornings for parents of primary school children, an expansion to a group of volunteers supporting and befriending the elderly, a Mum’s Bible study group and toddler groups.
Susan Baker, Canterbury Provincial President Elect quoted Canon Matthew Bradbury (Wisbech Lead Minister) who describing the training (formerly known as Stories on the Street) stated ‘it brings together people (in our case from different churches) with a yearning to deepen their faith by better engagement and interaction with their community … As a typically ‘time-challenged’ town Vicar, I kept attending the Saturday sessions because they were fun, because they were different to anything else I had experienced and because a sense of common purpose and Christian kinship quickly emerged in a quite disparate group of delegates.’
Susan then demonstrated the way that people are encouraged to engage with the bible using all their senses in Metamorphosis through performing a monologue from the story of the Widow’s Oil. This certainly helped us to relate to the story and realise that many of the issues in the story – debt, vulnerability to slavery, grief – are issues that we in the MU are trying to respond to today. The story brings to the fore the importance of using our own resources, however small, and engaging the help of others as God works miracles through our lives, our churches and communities.
MU currently has funding from the Strategic Development Fund to build upon our Metamorphosis pilots in Oxford and Ely Dioceses and expand to Canterbury, Portsmouth and Southwark Dioceses.
In the next few months, MU will be:
- Developing and launching our Metamorphosis Manual which will include prayer resources, creative bible studies, tools and techniques to enable and equip MU, churches and communities to identify their skills, experiences and gifts that can be used for the good of the community.
- Partnering with Mosaic Creative to run engaging bible-based workshops in Gosport, Portsmouth Diocese where participants will be able to build skills, develop relationships and grow in confidence and faith as they listen to their communities, identify how to mobilise existing resources to bring change.
- - Running taster days in Southwark and Canterbury to get churches inspired about Metamorphosis.
We love this approach because it’s full of creative activities which all members of the community can enjoy regardless of age or educational level. If you are interested in finding out more or would like to organise a taster day to learn more and think through whether you would like to take it further, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org