CHURCH FOR A DIFFERENT WORLD
News about our Archdeaconry Day held at the Victoria Hall on Saturday 30 June
Report by Dawn Hitchen
This was an opportunity to meet with fellow Christians from across the Deanery to find out more about ‘Mission Action Plans’ (MAPs); the means of providing parishes and deaneries with the opportunity to shape and influence the future and the allocation of resources.
It was a day for learning, sharing and discussion …and it was a very positive experience.
‘Fit for Mission’ is the process to support Manchester Diocese to become a
‘Church For A Different World’ and to realise the vision of our churches being “a worshipping, growing and transforming Christian presence at the heart of every community”. We are the ‘front line’ of the church and Church House is the ‘back up’; their job is to support us as we deliver nurturing and transforming worship. To be ‘fit for mission’ is about coping with change in an uncertain world.
Ken Holt and I opted for different ‘taster sessions’. I chose ‘Everyone is Called by God’, led by our very own Rev’d Carol Hayden + ‘Keeping MAP-ing fun and useful. Ken attended the ‘Care of God’s creation’ and ‘Transforming Our Communities Together’.
Rev’d Carol explained that we’re all called to serve in different ways and EVERYONE has a VOCATION! Whatever we decide to do must re-energise and re-invigorate our churches; and it must be relevant. So many great and innovative ideas were mooted throughout the day …but the conclusion has to be that WE ARE THE CHURCH …each and every one of us, and we’re all in this together. Whatever you have to offer, God will use!!
We have to become ‘SWOTs’ and think about what are our Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats …I wonder what the congregation members’ thoughts are??
A former Archbishop, William Temple, quoted the church as being ‘the only society that exists for the benefit of those who are not members’. So: we need to build bridges: embrace our calling to go and make disciples!! In Matthew 9:37, Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few”. But it isn’t about simply filling our churches; it’s about getting people to KNOW JESUS.
The Five Marks of Mission are:
- To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
- To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
- To respond to human need by loving service
- To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation
- To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth
Our own MISSION ACTION PLANNING for Walmsley Parish needs to be developed by the end of November this year. ‘FIT FOR MISSION’ is about us continuing to be the front line for coming to God; making sure that we are credible and reaching out …and on to the next generation. We should look to the future of our church in our communities and ensure that the connections continue to be there.