Mission at the Margins

In ‘How the Irish saved Civilization’, Thomas Cahill tells how the Gospel transformed a wild outpost on the margins of the Roman Empire into a land of ‘saints and scholars’. The Irish church kept the story of the Gospel alive as the Empire disintegrated, and the Celtic ‘White Monks’ would one day in turn, bring back to Europe the learning lost after the fall of Rome. Over half of all biblical commentaries written between 650 and 850 were by Irishmen, and Irish missionaries reached as far as Moldova by the end of the eighth century.

marginsThis edition of Vista explores some of the margins where mission in Europe is taking place, out of the limelight and away from the centres of ‘power’, just as Ireland was sixteen centuries ago. The stories we feature are small, local and personal; a tiny proportion of what is happening. Each focuses on a specific group of people at the edge of society, whether the Roma in Bulgaria and the UK, girls trafficked for sex in France, asylum seekers and refugees in Gloucester or the LGBT community, And as Rik Lubbers’ article highlights, for many of us, just being a Christian in Europe means you are automatically on the ‘margin’.

A margin is also a ‘liminal space’ where there is a sense of stepping beyond the known and certain. As editors we recognise that some of the margins explored by the writers in this issue of Vista may step beyond what you are comfortable with, both missiologically and theologically. We offer them to you for reflection and consideration.

Downlodad Vista 30 here

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