We have had a friend here from Atlanta, (Leigh Craven) visiting us over the last 10 days, and have really enjoyed spending time with her as we have shown her around our beautiful, historical city, Edinburgh. You might have even seen pictures I posted on Facebook from our day trip last week to Holy Island of Lindisfarne.
Holy Island– The significance of Holy Island is that St. Aidan, who chose Lindisfarne as the site for his church & monastery brought the Gospels to this area, called Northumbria in 635. And missionaries, trained by Aidan, were among the first to travel Britain and journey as far as into the Netherlands preaching and bringing the Gospels.
It was great for us to share our experience of Holy Island & to learn how the Gospels were spread throughout this nation. However, as we travelled around our city of Edinburgh, it was very tragic for her to see the demise of the historical, traditional churches & their buildings.
As we find ourselves in a post-Christian culture and society, many of these once great churches are no longer churches but have been turned into other things like indoor rock climbing arenas and, sadly, a nightclub called SIN!
As we begin our 12th year here in Edinburgh, Scotland as missionaries/church planters, we would like to give God glory and praise for allowing us to preach the Gospel as we worked with YWAM and helped establish two separate churches. We have been privileged to help plant the Almond Vineyard church for 6 1/2 years, and the Every Nation/Centrepoint Church for the last 4 1/2 years.
As we transition into the next part of our journey here in Edinburgh as missionaries/church planters, we would LOVE for you to take the time (because it is very important to us) to read this letter explaining some details about our new role as we transition to help another church plant, Mosaic Edinburgh.
KEEP these SHOCKING facts in mind as you continue reading:
FACT: It would take 160 new churches being planted, that each grew to 500 people, in order for 20% of the UN-CHURCHED in Edinburgh to be reached!
You might want to read that again to take it all in.
LETTER: James Petticrew, Catalyst for Mosaic Edinburgh, whom we will be working with has written this letter on our behalf. We would really appreciate it if you would take a few minutes to read it.
A Movement of Faith, Love & Hope
On Tuesday 3 February 1931, a devastating earthquake hit the area of Hawkes Bay on the South Island of New Zealand. Tragically that earthquake cost 256 people their lives and it also changed the lives of everyone who lived in the area. The tremendous upheaval in the ground made some bits of land disappear, some new pieces of land appeared where there had been a lagoon and new hills literally overnight came into being where the ground had been flat before. In an instant all the maps for the area had been rendered useless and the residents were left feeling consumed and bewildered in this new landscape. The people of Hawkes Bay went from living somewhere they were familiar with and which felt like home to living in an area that had changed almost beyond recognition. All of a sudden they had to learn new ways of navigating in what had been once a familiar and friendly landscape.
When I first heard that story it reminded me in so many ways of my experience as a church leader in Europe over the last 20 years. For much of the last 1000 years Europe felt like “home” for the church, it was familiar and friendly territory for Christianity. However more recently it increasingly feels like the church here is experiencing the same kind of upheaval the people of Hawkes Bay did back in 1931. That is because Europe over the last 30 to 40 years has been hit, not by a physical earthquake, but a by a cultural one and it feels like everything has changed. The old familiar landmarks in our Culture have gone, our culture which used to hold most Christian values now seems to oppose those self same values. The old ways of navigating in our culture, the old ways of doing and being church, just don’t get us where we want to go any more. Christianity has been pushed from its central position in European culture to the edges. No wonder the great missionary thinker Lesslie Newbigin said that Europe was the most difficult mission field the church had ever faced because it was the only mission field created by people thinking they had rejected Christianity. Following the earthquake in Hawkes Bay the church buildings had to be rebuilt and now in Europe there is a desperate need for new churches to built, not new physical buildings, but new expressions of God’s People committed to God’s mission in this new culture.
Vision of Mosaic Edinburgh: The vision of Mosaic Edinburgh is to be just such a fresh expression of church. We are committed to learning how to be God’s people, to learning how to make the Kingdom of God tangible, in this new culture we face here in Edinburgh with all of its challenges and opportunities. We are thinking and experimenting with new maps to help us navigate this unfamiliar cultural landscape. We are trying to rethink what the essence of being church is and how we can authentically express it here in our beautiful, historic city. We have gathered a core group of people from around Scotland and across the globe to launch what we are praying will be a significant new missional movement in Scotland’s capital. A huge amount of prayer over the last few years has gone into gathering this core group, specifically praying that God would lead people with a passion for and experience of mission in this challenging new environment for the church. It has been incredible to see how God has answered that prayer and to me, as one of the leaders of Mosaic, without doubt one of the clearest and most significant answers to that prayer we have seen has been Kent and Debbie Chandler’s step of faith in deciding to become part of the leadership of Mosaic Edinburgh and join us in this bold new God inspired experiment in mission. If you know Kent and Debbie well that won’t come as a surprise to you.
THE CHANDLERS: The Chandlers came to Scotland over 11 years ago with YWAM with a passion for being part of what God was doing in Europe particularly to see new churches planted in a continent that has seen so many die. Since then they have had considerable experience of mission in Edinburgh and have been part of teams which have helped establish two separate congregations in the city. I cannot think of anyone else I know of who has that kind of track record and experience of church planting in Edinburgh. They see their role in Mosaic as being the next step in following God’s missionary calling for their life. Kent will be becoming part of the core leadership group of Mosaic, serving as a pastor with several key roles and he and Debbie together will be planting a new missional community focused on reaching the unchurched which they will lead. I cannot tell you how excited I am to have Kent and Debbie Chandler joining the team at Mosaic. I believe that our mission here in historic and scenic Edinburgh is incredibly strategic. In just two years Scotland will vote on becoming fully independent and whatever the outcome of the vote the culture of Scotland will continue to change. Edinburgh may be Scotland’s capital but its becoming increasingly multicultural with some of the brightest best from around the world coming to study at its world class universities or work in the finance industry. We believe that God has called us to launch Mosaic Edinburgh to join Him in rising to these to strategic opportunities for the Gospel here. I know that Kent and Debbie with their wealth of church planting experience and very clear giftings will be key people in helping us become the missional church God is calling us to be.
Commend Kent & Debbie: For all those reasons I want to commend Kent and Debbie to you and ask specifically if you could support and partner with them in this new chapter in their calling as missionaries to the unchurched of Europe in several ways? Would you firstly, and perhaps most importantly, support them in prayer? Nothing of any spiritual significance will happen in this city or continent I believe without the sustained focused prayer by God’s people and of course that includes the Chandlers work here. I know they are acutely aware of their need for God’s power to be unleashed in what they plan to being doing and that won’t happen without prayer. To be frank they also need financial support as Edinburgh is an expensive city in which to live, the second most expensive in the whole of the UK. I know personally that its never easy to ask for financial support so I am going to do it for them. Would you consider making for the for the first time, or continuing to make, contributions to their ongoing support fund. I am ask you to support them financially not so much just to fund a great family to serve here in Scotland but so you too can partner with God in seeing an impact being made through His Kingdom in this strategic city? I know this is a difficult financial climate for many of us but I also know that many of us fritter money on things of little importance which could support work in the Kingdom of God which is of course of ultimate importance. So if you can commit to support them I would ask you to prayerfully consider doing so. If you have any questions about Mosaic, our vision or mission please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yours in Christ,
James Petticrew, Catalyst Mosaic Edinburgh