As we journey together in Christ we find that we meet challenges and opportunities along the way. Our journey can take us in a number of different directions, sometimes we can feel fully equipped for all that lies ahead and at other times we can sense a need for equipping.
Training & Development is an essential part of equipping the whole people of God in their journeys together.
East of England Regional Learning Network
The Discipleship and Ministries Learning Network (DMLN) was established on 1 September 2013 to enable the Methodist Church to develop its learning and development needs. The East of England region covers the Bedfordshire, Essex and Hertfordshire District and the East Anglia District of the Methodist Church.
The work covers the full range of church life under the broad headings of Discipleship, Ministry, and Church and Community. Jude Levermore, the Head of the Discipleship and Ministries cluster, says: "this is a response to the challenge of being a 'Discipleship Movement shaped for Mission'. If a church needs more home group leaders, how are they trained and resourced? If a circuit wants to focus on youth ministry, or develop the skills of the circuit leadership team, where do they find help? If changing demographics means a church needs to engage with Inter Faith work for the first time, how can they know they are getting the best and most up-to-date materials? To be a vital, growing church, we need to be a learning church."
One of the key aspects of the Learning Network is that it will be shaped by and responsive to local needs. Discussions with District Chairs and other District Officers will result in the production of a learning and development work plan for the region. The regional staff will engage with superintendents and circuits to enable local needs to be heard and suitably incorporated into the plan. As part of this work we have established a Regional Forum to provide a focus for developing the work within the region. The Forum will help in identifying regional priorities for learning and development. A regular regional newsletter is produced to highlight different aspects of the work that is being shared across the two districts.
Key Methodist Commitments
The Discipleship and Ministries Learning Network is rooted in four key Methodist commitments:
1. A commitment to transforming discipleship, equipping the Methodist people to be Christ-like disciples. The Network's activities will assist circuits and local churches to nurture and equip the Methodist people to become whole life, lifelong, transforming disciples of Christ in the world.
2. A commitment to transform ministries, equipping all those who share in the ministry of God within and beyond the life of the Church, to be effective leaders, servants, and partners in God's mission, making our ministries more accessible and more effective.
3. A commitment to transforming communities, challenging and equipping circuits and local churches as they change and grow as mission-focussed Christian communities.
4. A commitment to transforming innovation, nurturing deep, innovative and creative theological thinking to inform, equip and challenge the Connexion.
Meet the Team
Learning and Development Officers:
Regional Coordinator: Mr David Friswell
Contact: 07799 902570 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs Ann Howlett-Foster (Discipleship Development)
Contact: 07799 900481 or email@example.com
For more information see: www.methodist.org.uk/ee
We would love to hear from you if you have ideas and suggestions for areas of learning and development that you would like to see within the region. If you have suggestions, please let us know by getting in touch through the website or via e-mail.