JSP’s special contribution and message to the church today is very simple—and yet seriously challenging: ‘Let’s get more Jesus-Shaped’. If the church in the UK is to survive, especially in the most disadvantaged areas of our land, there is need for a radical re-shaping of its life in a way that is inspired and informed by the three year ministry of Jesus. Gordon Dey, JSP Team Leader comments, 'JSP offers fresh vision for churches to move out of their cul de sac and rediscover the Way of the Kingdom of God that Jesus taught and modelled.
Jesus Shaped People is growing steadily across the UK, and particularly in churches that serve urban estate communities and other areas of social disadvantage. Originating in Bradford, West Yorkshire, it is now making a significant contribution to churches in the Anglican dioceses of Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester, Blackburn, Chester, Rochester, Peterborough and Southwark, and is currently emerging in the dioceses of St. Albans, Lichfield, and Norwich. There is also interest appearing in London, Wales and Scotland. JSP is also being explored by other Christian denominations.
JSP's plan to provide extended materials that enable churches to focus in on each of the 'Five Priorities' has take a step forward recently with the creation of a 10 week programme on 'Team Building'. St Wilfrid's Church Calverley has been trialling this for us, and we're glad to publish their experience of this below. A final version of the material is being drafted, and will become available on the website in due course. Work is also proceeding with a similar 'extension' to Priority One - 'People'.
A big part of Jesus Shaped People is our trying to offer ongoing missional support to the parishes which have engaged with it.
One of the things that has come up is a desire to develop good resources to help estate parishes with prayer.
We are going to be holding a day on Saturday 16th February to think about what resources there are, what we use and find helpful, where we might develop new ones.
The day will be in Birmingham, at The Old Rectory, Hodge Hill from 10.30am.
I have always loved the Kings College Cambridge introduction to their Festival of Readings and Carols that invites us to go ‘in heart and mind to Bethlehem’. I’m incredibly fortunate to have made regular visits to Bethlehem over the past twenty-seven years. I’ve been inspired both by the landscape round Bethlehem and by the Palestinian people who live today in this ‘City of David’.
As part of our continued efforts to make the JSP web site easier to use, we have moved resources to the Programmes menu. Downloads for each individual JSP course are now only a single click away from the homepage. Just point to the Programmes menu and choose the course you need.
Following the links to the downloads will prompt you to login, if you haven't already. If you're not already signed up you can find out more, and view sample resources, at our What Next page.
A one day Cinema showing of a dramatised version of Handel’s Messiah is taking place on March 28th as a preparation for Easter, in cinemas across the UK. The high quality production features the English Concert Baroque Orchestra, the Erebus Ensemble, and internationally acclaimed soloists. For more information go to:
We are so very grateful to the growing group of people who pray regularly, some daily, for the life and work of Jesus Shaped People. We are delighted to email them a prayer letter every two months that keeps them informed of JSP development and progress.
Perhaps you would like to join them—indeed perhaps you already pray for JSP, but don't receive the Prayer Letter. If this is the case, please email Gordon Dey on email@example.com and you will receive a copy of the March Prayer Letter and subsequent letters.
In the early part of 2017 our Parish decided to use JSP as a starting point for building upon our outreach work into the community. We had been looking at JSP for some time, and discussing it with Gordon.
Fall River is a small town on the periphery of Halifax Regional Municipality, the largest city east of Montreal.
We have two churches, St Thomas’ and St Margaret of Scotland, situated about 12km apart. One is the merger of two older churches and St Margaret’s is 160 years old (ancient for Canada!)
I’ve benefited from a further reading of T.S. Eliot’s poem ‘The Journey of the Magi’, and invite you to do similarly. For copyright reasons we are not able to publish the whole poem, but you can find it at The Poetry Archive.
A few thoughts spring to mind from each of Eliot’s three stanzas:
A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter