Vicar's Musings for Ordinary Sunday 14
5 July, 2015
I have to confess to intentionally stirring the pot a little last week when I wrote in my Musings: "I don't yet know what the purpose of the Mission is. And that's OK." Some parishioners expressed some alarm: "What? The Vicar doesn't know what the Mission is about?" Allow me to clarify. You may have noticed that I have been thinking, praying, talking and writing about the Mission for more than two years now. I have a pretty good idea of what we are embarking on as a parish in two weeks time, and why we are going to all this effort. But do you? It is not the Vicar's Mission, or the Parish Council's Mission, it is the Parish Mission. It is your Mission. Many took up my challenge and wrote reflections on our Mission as a parish. Thank you. I hope these may become the basis of a special Parish Mission edition of "Apostrophe."
In a word, as I see it, the purpose of our Parish Mission is "growth." Bp Stephen Cottrell's visit comes at the tail-end of our 2012-15 Mission Action Plan (MAP) "Growing in God's Love." At November's AGM this year we will be advancing the 2015-18 MAP and Bp Stephen is primarily here to help us with this process. Our Parish Mission program is designed around Bp Stephen's schematic (see below) and is a microcosm of the bigger picture that will form the basis of our 2015-18 MAP.
So, during the Mission week we have three "contact events" aimed at connecting with those who don't yet belong; "seekers" if you like. The "Where is the Green Sheep?" children's play, is just one example of a contact event (the others being the Business Dinner and the Coffee Cart launch). The play already has 75 on-line bookings, and most of these people are strangers to us. At the play we will be advertising a number of ways any "seekers" can connect further with the parish and be nurtured into commitment to Christ and church membership. One such way is a catechumenal course we will launch in September. This Pilgrim Course is an intentional "nurture" program. Baptism or Confirmation may be an outcome for some. These "pilgrims" may go on to be "apostles" or church leaders, and so the spiral continues by God's grace.
The Rev'd Dr Hugh Kempster
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