Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!

‘Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!’ Psalm 150 exclaims. We hope and pray that you are enjoying the beautiful sunshine, and are able to thank the Lord for his blessings.

Connecting with God Outdoors

Earlier this year the Bible Reading Fellowship published Alison Morgan’s book World Turned Upside Down, and Alison has just written a piece for them on ‘Connecting with God Outdoors’. If you’d like to read the article, you will find it here.

Prayer as a way of life

In July Alison is speaking at BRF’s annual Prayer Conference. It’s billed as ‘A day to explore prayer as a way of life,’ , and it promises to be a great way of revitalising and deepening your prayer life. There are lots of different workshops, with something for everyone, from ‘Prayer for extroverts’ to ‘Prayer and the poetry of RS Thomas’ to ‘Prayer can be a battle’ and more! There’s more information about the day and details of how to book on the BRF website.
Alison is offering two workshops:
  1. The Psalms and the spirituality of pain: a narrative of healing
  2. Taking the Psalms out of doors: connecting with God through the things He has made
With a keynote by David Runcorn and no fewer than 21 workshops to choose from, it promises to be a great day! And if you want time out to absorb what you have heard, the Oxfordshire countryside is ready to welcome you…
If you’d like a copy of Alison’s book you can order it from our Publications page.

Two new books!

World Turned Upside Down – The psalms and the spirituality of pain : finding a way through

with a Foreword by Bishop John Inge
We are delighted to announce that Alison Morgan’s new book on the Psalms has just been published by BRF:
‘There are no simple answers to life’s challenges, so how do we integrate our most testing experiences into our faith in a way which strengthens rather than undermines it? When we are at our weakest, when we feel we most need God and yet have no idea how to talk to him, it is the Psalms which leap to our rescue. With the psalmists as our guides, we learn to draw closer to God, to hear his voice in fresh ways, and to identify what it is that troubles us. Borrowing their words, we find that we are able to articulate our most painful feelings and walk through suffering with honesty, hope, and confidence in the God who travels beside us. Here is an opportunity to read the Psalms differently: an invitation to embark on a new journey.’
The book has been highly commended – to find out more or to order your copy visit our Publications page.

The Songs of a Warrior: Saul and David – a retelling, by Katy Morgan

We are also delighted to commend a new book by Katy Morgan. Katy is a highly regarded writer for children aged 8-13, and this is her second book. It’s published by the Good Book Company, who explain: ‘This dramatic retelling of the accounts of the first two kings of Israel follows the intertwining stories of Jonathan, Saul, David and Michal. In this imaginative yet biblically faithful book, readers will find themselves immersed in the hearts and minds of the key players as they experience battles, intrigue, plots, betrayal, love and friendship. This resource is a great way to help kids aged 8-13 engage with God’s word.’
People have posted some lovely reviews:
“The Songs of a Warrior” is a great selection for kids who like historical fiction. The author fleshed out the characters in an engaging way, rotating through different viewpoints and exploring the human side of war and political tensions – Bethany Davidson
This book brought narrative to years of Bible study. Sometimes it’s difficult for children to follow all the details in Bible narratives (in Scripture) and this book does a wonderful job connecting the history so the reader can walk away with big picture understanding of God and His purposes. We used this as a bedtime read aloud for our kids (ages 9 and 7). Our kids really enjoyed it. – Lauren
Katy is a clear and skilled storyteller whose love and knowledge of God’s Word is evident through the accuracy in this book. I greatly appreciated the cast of characters at the front of the book, the map of Israel, and the overall layout of the book. Personally, the best part of this book was the delight it gave me to read it. This book is easy to read (I read it in a few hours) and it pulls you in immediately. I think this is an excellent book for older elementary/middle schoolers, but anyone would enjoy this book! Faith Cote
The Songs of a Warrior can be previewed and ordered from The Good Book Company here. It’s available both as a paperback and as an ebook.

Rooted in Jesus Annual Report for 2022

We are pleased to let you know that we have now published the Rooted in Jesus Annual Report for 2022; it can be downloaded here.
The ending of the Covid19 travel restrictions led to a very busy year, with a record 23 Rooted in Jesus conferences taking place in 8 African countries. No fewer than seven of these were in South Sudan, the youngest country in the world, where Anglican churches are placing an increasing emphasis on discipleship as a tool for both consolidation and growth. We remain grateful to all those who have given their time and resources to make this possible, and look forward, along with our partners in Tanzania and South Africa, to continuing to serve our brothers and sisters across the continent in the coming year.
To find out more about Rooted in Jesus click here.

Update on our EQUIP programme for church leaders

The purpose of the Mathetes Trust’s EQUIP programme is to provide mentoring assistance to Christians who are themselves committed to serving the Great Commission in the UK – disciples who want to make disciples. EQUIP began in 2010, when Roger formed a small group of mentees in the South West of England. Since then, more and more people have asked to join and today EQUIP serves 75 people who meet regularly in 10 groups. EQUIP is led by Roger Morgan in England and John Benson in North Wales.
Seven of the 10 EQUIP groups consist entirely of clergy; one is restricted to those who serve in an Anglican multi-parish benefice, where one minister has responsibility for several churches. Leaders of multi parish benefices are often under pressure to lead each of their churches in quite traditional ways which, even with outstanding leadership, usually results in ageing and declining congregations; it is our aim to help these leaders find a new approach which reverses these trends. The other 3 EQUIP groups are for lay people. One group is for full or part-time children’s workers. The other two groups are for lay people who are committed to spreading the Gospel in the places where they live and work.
Roger and John both have long experience of making disciples, both as laymen and then as leaders of growing churches. They learned in particular that any church leader who wants to see their church grow has to make sure that certain things happen; if they do not, then those churches tend to decline in numbers. To this end, we have written a series of booklets which set out in detail the steps which should be taken and the steps which should be avoided. We teach these principles through the 10 EQUIP groups, which each meet 3 or 4 times a year, either on Zoom or face to face. Group members are asked to make these meetings a priority. Roger and John then follow up the meetings by individual conversations on the phone and, as far as possible, by visits which enable us to better understand the realities of the situations people are facing in their ministry; we also make ourselves available to share in that ministry.
Roger and John are often invited to preach and, when they do, they offer prayer for healing at the close of the service. A healthy church must have a plan to reach out with the Gospel to the people who belong to the communities where church members live and work; we often find ourselves helping churches to form such plans and walking alongside them as they carry them out. We sometimes take teams to parishes for a week of mission so that churches who may not be used to conversions or healings will see these things happen. Roger has often been to churches to give a weekend of teaching on prayer with the twin aims of helping individual Christians to find a deeper prayer life and helping groups of Christians to pray together. Another aspect of our work in parishes has been training, particularly for churches which wish to offer prayer to individuals on Sundays. Many churches have a small group system; our vision is to see these groups grow in numbers and in spiritual depth. Our vision for our lay members is that they will be fruitful in their evangelism, both at home and by coming with us on some of our visits to other places.
If you are reading this, ordained or lay, and would like to join one of our EQUIP groups, please do let us know. We would expect you to have an active ministry and a desire to make disciples; membership involves both commitment and challenge!
Recent EQUIP booklets – all available from the office.
To find out more see our EQUIP page.

The crocodile was kind to me…

Making disciples in South Sudan

We have just posted a report on the Rooted in Jesus conferences held last month in the Dioceses of Nyamlel, Aweil and Wanyjok in South Sudan. Hundreds of people participated in the conferences, despite the devastation of the recent floods which have swept across this part of the country, and we heard today that the leaders in Nyamlel have already started their new groups. You can read the report (and find out more about crocodiles) on our blog site here.

Other recent news

We have also been delighted to receive news from the Diocese of South Rwenzori in Uganda, where both children and adults who joined groups after the conference earlier this year have now completed book 1 of Rooted in Jesus and been awarded certificates of achievement. Certificates have also been awarded to children in Fort Dauphin in the Diocese of Toliara, Madagascar. Find out more on our Facebook page here.

Children receive Rooted in Jesus Junior certificates in Kasese, Uganda

Making disciples in England

Meanwhile here in England our EQUIP groups for church leaders continue to meet regularly, with recent in-person gatherings in Kent and Leicestershire, and meetings by Zoom for our theme-linked networks. We will post an update in the New Year.

Rooted in Jesus returns to South Sudan

Of all the countries where Rooted in Jesus has been adopted as the primary strategy for teaching Christian discipleship, South Sudan is the most challenging in which to minister. Created only 11 years ago after more than 20 years of civil war, South Sudan is the world’s youngest country. The Episcopal Church of South Sudan (ECSS) was quick to plan for the future, and over the next couple of years Rooted in Jesus was introduced to the Anglican dioceses of Nzara, Wau and Yambio. But in 2013 a new civil war broke out, and over the next 5 years tens of thousands of people were killed or displaced. After a prolonged period of negotiation a peace agreement was signed in 2018, and whilst South Sudan remains a difficult country to visit, we have been able to continue our support for the Anglican church there.

“As soon as we finished some teaching, they worshipped; and before we started, they worshipped”

The ending of the Covid19 travel restrictions last year made it possible to accept invitations from the Dioceses of Aweil and Wanyjok, and in May this year we were able to send a team to the Dioceses of Maridi and Yambio. Over the last few weeks we have fulfilled a further five invitations, and we have just posted a blog report covering the first two of these – a visit to the Diocese of Wau to train a new generation of leaders, and another to the nearby mission Diocese of Tonj, where we provided an introductory conference.
Conditions in South Sudan are testing – but the many practical difficulties were overcome, the participants responded with enthusiasm, the worship was vibrant and many prayers were answered. To read the full report please check out the blog here.

Building new foundations in Burundi

We have just published a blog report on the recent Rooted in Jesus conferences held in the Dioceses of Rutana and Buhiga, Burundi.

Small group practice in the Diocese of Rutana

The conferences had been organised by the national Rooted in Jesus coordinator Elisha Nkeza at the request of Bishops Pontien Ribakare and Evariste Njiimbere, and were facilitated by a team of five – two from the missionary diocese of Lake Tanganyika in DR Congo, and three from England. We laboured in the heat (UK: 31 degrees, Bujumbura: 31 degrees), communicated with each other in French, and were fed like kings on an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables. The conferences were attended by about 250 people (clergy, catechists, Mothers Union and Youth leaders) all of whom were exemplary in their enthusiasm, openness and commitment. A team of intercessors supported us remotely, and their prayers were abundantly answered.
Burundi is, economically speaking, the poorest country in the world; but we couldn’t help feeling that it has a lot going for it. We look forward to praying for the new group leaders.
You will find the report on the Rooted in Jesus blog here.
Posted 2nd September 2022

Helping with mission in Slough

We have just taken a team to help with a week-long mission to Slough, where Tim Wambunya, formerly the bishop of Butere in Kenya, is now the vicar. The team of ten was led by Roger Morgan and Andrew Evans, and the gospel was shared through a variety of events in the church alongside a programme of visiting people in their homes. Many church members went out with the team, often feeling a bit nervous, but always returning rejoicing. At the meetings in church we preached the gospel and prayed for the sick. About 60 people made commitments and many were healed. Tim and his colleagues are now following up those whose lives were touched in one way or another.

Making new friends in Slough

Strengthening discipleship in Uganda

Ben Beecroft has recently led a multi-national team to Uganda to support the Dioceses of East Ruwenzori and South Rwenzori, with a conference for adult groups in East Ruwenzori and one for both adult and Sunday School leaders in South Rwenzori. Uganda was particularly badly affected by the Covid restrictions, which remained in force for many months and prevented churches from meeting together – so it was good to be invited by Bishop George Turyasingura and Bishop Nason Baluka to hold refresher conferences in these two dioceses. 250 or so leaders were trained during the conferences, which were marked by many testimonies of healing and deliverance. We have posted a full report from Ben and the team on our blog here.

Rooted in Jesus workshop in the Diocese of East Ruwenzori

We were grateful during these missions not only to those who went but also to those who prayed – many of those prayers were answered. We continue to pray for Tim and his team in Slough; and for coordinators James, Philip and William as they encourage those leading groups in Uganda.

If you are interested in running a parish mission and would like to talk to us, please do take a look at our mission page and get in touch if you would value a conversation.

Posted 19th July 2022