In the next couple of weeks we will be welcoming my good friend and former colleague, Professor Manny Ortiz, to Belfast for our church’s Urban Mission Conference. This is a great chance to interact with someone who is extremely knowledgeable and well-skilled in leading and directing urban ministry and mission.
If you are a leader in an urban congregation, you will benefit greatly from this conference. Be sure to sign up today as numbers will be limited.
From a Presbyterian perspective, this is a very important event. Our denomination is facing huge challenges in the urban areas of Ireland, and we need to apply ourselves with energy and urgency to this topic. In many urban districts, the church appears to be on the retreat from the city to the suburbs. But with over half the world’s population now living in cities, mission and ministry in the cities and town centres is not optional for us. Key questions about our involvement in urban mission will be addressed at this conference.
Manny was Harvie Conn’s close friend and understudy for many years, and he not only understands the theological issues which Harvie dealt with, but has implemented them in his own congregation, Spirit and Truth Fellowship which meets in the Hunting Park area of North Philadelphia. It is a vibrant and inspiring multi-ethnic congregation drawn from people living in a deprived urban area.
Manny will be supported by Dr Sue Baker, an accomplished social scientist and experienced teacher, who has first-hand experience of urban ministry in Chicago and Philadelphia. If you can make it, come to West Kirk on the Shankhill Road to hear Manny on Sunday evening, 18 October.