Dream - update Jul10

Monday, 19 July, 2010

Richard White, pioneer minister of Dream and now Canon for Mission and Evangelism at Liverpool Cathedral, has seen many changes since the network first saw the light of day eight years ago.

Dream now has six groups; five in the Liverpool area and one in New Zealand. We have seen networking develop through the groups themselves and increasingly via the website.

Dream logoA close relationship has also developed with the cathedral and that relationship can be seen in a number of ways. During Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture in 2008, we set up a small installation in the cathedral where people had an opportunity to reflect and, if they wanted, leave their email address and contact details. Several hundred people did that during the year. This was a sign that people were connecting with us in some way, and wanted to do so again in that incredible building and in other places too.

The biggest personal shift in emphasis came in September last year when I became Canon for Mission and Evangelism at the Cathedral. This was the next step in quite a journey with Dream. When I came to the end of my curacy I had been appointed half time to oversee Dream, half-time with CMS. The Diocese of Liverpool then offered a full-time opportunity to oversee Dream and as two of the Dream groups were already linked with the cathedral by then, the cathedral played a growing role in Dream's development.

What has become clear is that there is tremendous potential in that relationship and we are now looking at a whole range of possibilities to work together even more closely. To my mind, that's very much trying to live out the whole mixed economy thing. It is different from the inherited but is no way detached from it.

The two biggest challenges for us involve:

Going deeper into discipleship

People are not just responding to Dream as a safe place to come to faith but also see it as a place to deepen that faith. As a result some have taken on the Dream 'Rhythm of Life', committing themselves to a way of life built around practices that have been central to followers of Jesus down the centuries.

Jesus' summary of the most important commandments gives our rhythm its shape: Loving God with all our passion, prayer, intelligence and energy; and devoting ourselves to loving others and ourselves.

Keeping missional

It is very easy to slip back into being comfortable. Yes we want Dream to be a safe place but we also want it to be a dangerous place because we all need to be pushed out of our comfort zone.

Dream - Lady ChapelDream has also instigated guerrilla worship on several occasions. It's about taking simple, creative, genuine acts of worship out of the church box and into the 'marketplace'. These have been great fun; the first held in the Liverpool One shopping centre and another on the beach at Crosby where we had a labyrinth near Antony Gormley's iron men installation. Both have had thousands of hits on YouTube.

The Dream network currently meets at:

  • L19:Dream
  • Dream in Ormskirk
  • Dream in Haydock
  • Dream in New Zealand
  • All Age Dream
  • Dream in the Cathedral

All Age Dream and Dream in the Cathedral both meet in the Lady Chapel. We are trying to develop the reflection zones to engage both children and adults simultaneously.

In a further development this year we launched e-Dream, a weekly email newsletter with Dream To Go reflections, Dream Lectio Bible readings and regular updates from the Dream network.

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