"Reaching Out, Inviting In, Journeying with Jesus"
On January 13th 2019 we launched our new vision plan for 2020/21 and subsequent years. What an exciting day we had - together we worshiped, celebrated, looked ahead, confirmed our commitment to the plan and even had lunch together!
So, below is the vision, the practical, the plans, but what is the underlying principle of all of this? What is it that we think God requires of us in order for us to pursue this vision? Well, our verse for the year, the thing I, and the PCC believe God is calling us to, comes from a passage in Joshua:
“Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” Joshua 3:5
In this passage, Joshua is the new leader of the Israelites, after their 40 years
of wandering after the death of Moses he is in charge and they are finally
going to be entering into the Promised Land. There has been 40 years of wandering
and some very hard lessons to finally bring them to this point. But even once
they are finally there, three more days must pass before they are ready to
move. God’s time is the perfect time.
We have spent the last two years working through a much more detailed and substantial plan than we have now, but at the time it was right to include everything and deal with lots of different areas of our church life. It had a lot of inward focus and that is not necessarily a bad thing, time to get our house in order, our ducks in a row etc… But now, is the time for us to intentionally face outwards. At the centre of our church is the cross and in front of that this morning we have one of the new flags for the honeycomb café - symbol of one of our outward facing community activities.
We want to look outwards and to reach out and to move outwards into our Promised Land – into our community, our parish, our own local area that has been entrusted to us. All Saints does not exist just for us, just for those who choose to come here on a Sunday. It exists for the whole of our parish – all 7800 inhabitants at the last census. I am not the Vicar just for you, but for everyone, I have the “cure of souls” of the whole parish.
Together we need to start engaging even more and
making all those we share responsibility for aware of us, what we can offer and
most of all of the God who loves them. The Israelites were to watch for the Ark
of the Covenant to lead them, but it will be into a new place, where they have
never been before. We have been praying and discerning where God is leading us
and believe now is the time for us to follow our ark – this vision plan – into
the next two years. [the full sermon from Rev Sue Cooke can be found here]
Here are some highlights from the launch service and the celebration lunch