Our annual vision for the last two years has focussed on our conviction of the Christian hope, and our courage to talk about it. We continue in the same vein this year as we explore living out the greatest commandment to:
‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength, and... love your neighbour as yourself’
The two parts hold as one: loving God empowers us to love others, and love for others is how love for God is demonstrated.
So we’re exploring how that looks with all our heart (love, will and commitment), all our soul (spirit, devotion and prayer), all our mind (thinking, learning, reading and watching), and all our strength (gifts, time, energy and money) - all of me integrated: body, mind, spirit, and emotion, becoming whole-life disciples.
And how does it look individually: my friendships (social life), my family (immediate and extended), my church membership (fellowship and commitment), my weekday (occupation, employment and recreation)? And reaching my long-term friend or relative, my local neighbour or colleague, my unlikely contact, my contact across the world?
And together, what does it mean: in the church’s heart for the lost, our corporate soul in prayer and praise, and exercising spiritual gifts, our mind as a learning church, and the strength of our ministries and mission? And expressing it as a loving family in outreach, to our parish residents, our ministries to the local community, our global Christian family?
This year we’re resourcing the Wholeness Course and Single Life Workshop, exploring spiritual gifts, developing more various kinds of small groups, encouraging mentoring and the Disciples Making Disciples course, with more prayer opportunities through Deeper and Abide, supporting those in the workplace, and teaching into these topics. We’re resourcing hospitality initiatives, aiming to be more accessible to all; the Speak Hope podcast is beginning in June; encouraging short-term mission trips; partnering in solidarity with the global suffering church.
We have four goals for this year to help us better love God and others:
GOAL 1: ALL IN accountability groups - no isolated believers: the goal is 80% of our members
GOAL 2: ALL IN regular serving and giving – everyone having one role before anyone has three or four: the goal is 80% of our members
GOAL 3: ALL IN growing the membership through radical discipleship and courageous witness, so that by 2020 we are in a position to plant again: the goal is 250 men
GOAL 4: ALL INVITING and INVESTING in others – last year over three hundred adults, and even more children were invited to engage with one of our faith-sharing ministries: the goal is to double that.
These goals are so important if we are to demonstrate our love for God, reach out to our neighbours, love them as ourselves, and take all the means to reach all we can...
…if we are to be ALL IN:
ALL INVOLVED (together)
ALL INVESTING (our gifts)
ALL IN (our whole life)
Could you be part of a team, championing this? We want to know, do let us know
Our prayer for this year:
‘Lord, I’m sorry for the many ways I have failed to love you with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and failed to love my neighbour as myself. I affirm my desire to be a whole-hearted disciple of yours. Deepen my personal walk with you, strengthen my love for others, make me more honest and open in my relationships and teach me what it means to be sacrificial in service.
I commit with my brothers and sisters in Christ to the vision of being ‘ALL IN’ - rising to fresh challenges, risking true accountability, stepping out in faith and living a truly integrated life. May we spur each other on to these goals and aspirations, and may we become a community of believers who show in real and tangible ways that we are loving our God and our neighbour with all our heart and soul and mind and strength.
To the glory of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen'
View our newly elected PCC here