Musings on Discipleship

A Week on Discipleship

Dear <<First Name>>,

I hope you found Dr Longkumer’s reflections interesting over the last week.  It’s always good to hear voices from different, sometimes unfamiliar places and in a week’s time we’ll have a set of reflections from Fiji where Dr Longkumer works.  For the next week, however, we’re going to be reflecting with a range of people involved in the education and learning of the URC about discipleship.  The Rev’d Jenny Mills, Secretary for Education and Learning writes:

Discipleship is the journey following Jesus which strengthens us in our faith. Discipleship is learning; it is seeking to know more about Jesus and how he calls us to live, work, share, love and grow, and then actually doing it!  Missional Discipleship has been the emphasis of much of the URC’s work since 2017 with the Walking the Way material.  Education and Learning, building on that ethos of encouraging lifelong learning, seeks to resource discipleship development through such things as Stepwise and via the URC Learning Hub and through funding opportunities.

One of the funding opportunities is the Discipleship Development Fund. This is made up of the money raised from the sale of the Windermere Centre in the Lake District, formerly one of our Resource Centres for Learning,  The Fund is there to help you and your church think about what it means to follow Jesus in everyday life. There are small grants of up to £200 available through your synod to encourage individuals in their discipleship. There are also larger grants available for groups and churches of up to, and around, £5000 a year, for up to three consecutive years.  Grants can be applied for through Education and Learning and are awarded 4 times a year. The purposes for which the money can be used are broad, but all applications need to relate to the aims of the Discipleship Development Strategy which are to:

  • Create opportunities for everyone to encounter the living God, whether they already identify themselves as followers of Christ or not. 
  • Encourage everyone in their prayer life and relationship with God to enable them to live as disciples of Jesus.
  • Encourage everyone to make the most of education and learning opportunities that are relevant and appropriate for them in their discipleship journey.

For more information and application forms, please go to the URC website.

Over the next week we are picking up this discipleship theme in our daily reflections.  Adrian Bulley reminds us that Jesus takes the initiative in calling us – our response is to follow where we’re called.  Nicola Furley-Smith reflects on the Biblical mandate to be fruitful in our ministry and John McNeil Scott casts a vision of a Church which is curious about its context.  Peter Ball contrasts the values of the world with those of discipleship whilst David Salsbury reminds us that Jesus calls us to “come and see” all that is on offer in a life following him. Adam Scott concludes this week of reflections asking us to attend to goodness.  

I hope this short series of reflections will both stimulate your own thoughts on being a disciple and encourage you to think of ways in which the URC, through the Discipleship Development Fund, can support you and your church as you seek to follow Jesus through life’s journey.

With every good wish


The Rev’d Andy Braunston
Minister for Digital Worship

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