On the Way Vision
The Draft Vision from our On The Way Leaders has been written this week and it starts with: We have been listening. Bishop Hugh at the launch of On The Way in East Wivelshire stated:
‘We cannot go on as we are - being unfruitful and unsustainable’
These words also relate to Bishop Philip’s five priorities for Mission from The Saints Way:
A Church that conspicuously celebrates children and young people at its heart,' because Jesus placed a child in the centre as a model for us all.
A Church that unashamedly embraces an innovative pioneering culture,' because Jesus is 'the pioneer and perfecter of our faith' who in his incarnation, cross and resurrection crossed every boundary.
A Church that is increasingly confident in its calling,' because Jesus was wholly obedient to his Father's will.
A Church that rejoices in strong, warm and mutually encouraging international links,' because we proclaim that Jesus is Lord of all, and his Kingdom knows no boundaries.
A Church that rejoices in the generosity of God,' because Jesus trusted wholly in his Father's provision.The output from the recent Community Survey, together with input from a number of Focus Groups, has given us a snapshot of how quite a few within the churches see what the church offers - and as important, how well some of those outside the church or on the fringes feel we are meeting the needs of our communities.
A review of the surveys and reports from the various natter and focus groups was made in the light of these priorities.
So where does that leave us? We know the priorities and have a feeling for the challenges they bring us. As we acknowledge the need for change, the thing to do next is to agree a common purpose and vision to headline our Deanery Plan. That will give us a sound basis for setting goals for each of our churches and on which to think of ways in which we can support each other across the Deanery in achieving them.
Starting points for discussion:
- to be available - to respond to their needs - to use our churches in a wider sense - to be generous and open for occasional offices - to promote the work of the church and the many excellent things that are done in God’s name.
- to be welcoming & inclusive
- to be creative in serving and worship
- to work with schools and colleges
- our discipleship
- growing in our faith
- learning about our faith
- Worship; Witness - sharing our faith with others
- Benefices, Deaneries.
David Watters, who leads our Deanery Team has asked the following:
‘Read the document, dream dreams, pray about what might be, discuss with your
congregations and people who are interested in a new vision for the church - and pray more,
seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you do so.’
The need now is to focus on ‘priorities and what is important’. David continues:
Thoughts are always welcome - email them to me so that we can benefit from your
prayerful thoughts. It is prayerful thoughts that we seek - not opinions!
This is something we have been considering during our Advent reflections which started last week (see the weekly sheet or the website for details about the three groups). It is good to see a number across the Cluster joining in as we seek God’s will for our lives and his Church across the land.
We could pride ourselves in the Cluster by thinking we are already working to achieve the above vision that had come out of the On the Way findings. However, there is some way to go in making these goals a reality so we cannot relax. Someone on our cluster vision day said: ‘Church is base camp’. It’s not the apex of our faith each week but the base camp where we gather for the climb as we work together to build the Kingdom in this world. We need ropes, else we won’t make it. Ropes symbolises the kind of prayer that pulls us together. It unites us in our dependency, trust and faith in the living God who is calling us this Advent to:
“Clear the way through the wilderness for the LORD! Make a straight
highway through the wasteland for our God! (Isaiah 40:3 NLT)
Keith, Amy & Joe (Working Group, Callington Cluster)