Hope in the Future Report
In response to the Bishop’s request, in Lent we began our Hope in the Future journey in each of our three churches.
Meeting 1 looked at “Welcome”. We reflected on the significance of the San Damiano Cross, an icon, as a way to reignite our faith and to help us spiritually rebuild the Church. We reflected on different images of Christ through selecting illustrations and discussing our choices. The gentle way the presentations were given gave a feeling of warmth and belonging. The content was powerful, particularly the discussions with our chosen pictures. We were able to discuss actions for a more pro-active church and bring the light of Christ openly into our daily lives and communities.
Meeting 2 examined “Gifts”. We reflected on the different spiritual gifts which we have as a community as also those which we lack. Following a reflection, the groups completed an audit of gifts, services and ministries already being done and others that could be done. The resulting lists showed that much is already taking place but there are many more ways in which people could use their gifts and talents. Everyone was in favour of launching an audit of gifts in the Autumn in line with Bishop John’s programme. Ministries need to be explained and a programme produced for those interested in finding out more. Such a survey would show how much we are involved and would bring parishioners together to participate in our parish community.
Meeting 3 focused on “Outreach”. The characteristics of an evangelising community were identified. We need to be a confident community across all generations. The community should be welcoming, joyful, happy, accessible and approachable, reaching out beyond the Parish and working and socialising as a team while recognising individual strengths. It needs to be well structured, well-resourced and well led. Communications were seen as critical.
The future is exciting and we each have a part to play.
Hope in the Future Team