So enough of me and my angst (for now ). This week the PCC meet to kick of the process of reviewing where we’ve got to with what we’re currently doing and how we might develop. The discussion will be in two parts. The first part takes us through the values of a mission-shaped church, as we have been paraphrasing them. The second is about trying to determine what options there are for taking things forward.
PART ONE: Where have we got to?
Are our Sunday and Tuesday gatherings:
- INSPIRED BY GOD?
Are we* all drawn closer to God?
- RELATED TO CONTEXT?
Are we* connecting with the locality and its culture?
Are we* relating to the right context? (Are we where we’re being called to be?)
- MAKING A DIFFERENCE?
Are we* making life better for the community we serve?
Are we* making enough of a difference to enough people?
- CHANGING PEOPLE’S LIVES?
Are we* active in calling and helping each other to become disciples of Christ?
- BUILDING COMMUNITY?
Is all that we* do characterised by welcome and hospitality.
Are our* ethos and style open to change as new people join?
* To what extent should we consider newer members from Wilmcote House as being part of our community in these questions? Is it us/them, or we? That’s not an entirely straightforward question. The way we have responded to newer members needs in practical ways suggests the members of the Congregation Formerly Known as St Luke’s (TCFKASL) see these newer people as part of our community. And the way they have got involved in helping to make our Sunday mornings happen suggests they have a sense of ownership and investment in who we are together. On the other hand, these newer members have not yet taken the steps (such as baptism) that would allow them to officially participate in the governance of the parish.
Where do we go from here?
The original vision for TCFKASL, that I laid out last summer, is that we would become a mission community, spending a period rooted in particular places in order to found new, indigenous and eventually self-sustaining congregations in Somerstown. TCFKASL would be sustained in its mission spirituality by forging and living a shared ‘rule’ (in the neo-monastic vein) in our Tuesday gatherings and our everyday lives.
- How does that look now that we have begun to engage?
- Is the original vision still sound?
If not, how do we go about forging a new vision?
- How do we change what we do now in order to address its current shortcomings and to allow for the emergence/evolution of our vision for our place in this locality? This might include consideration of our target group, the location of our activities, their timing, format and frequency as well as how we make best use of our current resources and personnel.
- Do we need to change what we do now radically or more gradually?
- What different possibilities are there that we can agree to take forward into the discernment process with the wider congregation in the coming weeks?