New Year New Challenges
It may well be that many of us have made some kind of New Years resolution. The idea of setting ourselves some sort of personal goal is a good thing. It can instil within us a sense of purpose, which in turn helps us rise to the challenge and eventually achieve our aim. My own personal resolution is to get back into running regularly. For this to be realised I know that I will have to get back to a level of fitness that will enable me to run regularly. Step two will be to sort out, or rather, strengthen my left knee, which is prone to injury. Finally, I will need to put in place a running regime that is both possible and sustainable. It’s going to be a challenge!
As a Diocesan family we are facing some significant challenges. However the outcomes of the ‘Mutual Support’ initiative, it is clear we face these challenges with good measures of faith and hope! As the report notes:
‘People said they wanted our churches to grow, and that they wanted to have a clear vision for the Diocese to sum up what we’re all working towards’.
Archbishop Sentamu writes; ‘This is what our vision for Generous Churches Making and Nurturing Disciples is all about. It’s not a new initiative or programme – it’s a focus on how we work out God’s mission in our Diocese. It’s about growing, and working together. Growth is about the quality of our commitment and mission as well as about increasing numbers. And working on our mission priorities is a vital foundation for planning the future finances of the diocesan family’.
This month Archbishop Sentamu will speak to a gathering of clergy, Churchwardens, and PCC members in our Parish Centre on the evening of 8th January. This evening will, in effect, act as a catalyst for fresh thinking and vision. He will encourage us to think about the Five Marks of Growing; Christ likeness, Commitment, Partnership, Influence and Numbers. Throughout Lent we will be looking in detail at the Five Marks of Growing via our Koinonia programme and a sermon series.
It will be a real challenge for each Church in our Diocesan family to look beyond their own parochial boundaries. I believe it is important to develop and foster a vision of what we are all working towards and by doing so give expression to the Kingdom of God among us. May we rise to the challenge of becoming, Generous Churches that make and nurture disciples together.
Every Blessing Rev’d Mike Proctor