On Saturday 2nd December a number of people from St Chads joined those from churches in the inner city of Birmingham and those with outer estates in their parishes like St Chads for the Church of England Birmingham’s 2nd Urban Congress. The day entitled ‘Sharing Stories of Hope and Holding on’ was attended by 79 people who listened to three main speakers and then had opportunity for table discussions and questions to the speakers.
The themes of the day included thinking about the city as paradise; Canon Dr Paula Gooder of Birmingham Diocese spoke about the journey from the garden of Eden and all that was good about it, to the heavenly city, with even more riches contained within. What does it mean for us to view the city as paradise? How does it change our view of where we live? – if we are not to escape to some other wonderful place, but be part of the process of rooting heaven on earth, and transforming our area to more fully reflect the city as paradise.
There was also the opportunity to think about personal resilience, what do we need in our own lives that we are enable us to keep going, to keep holding on to the hope of Jesus in testing and challenging times.