Fourth week after the Epiphany – 3 February 2013
Changing the Landscape
I’d like to welcome everyone to worship today. Thank you to those who attended the final “Vision and Values” evening on Wednesday evening. If we add the numbers of those who attended and those who sent apologies we’d have a 30% response of our regular Sunday worship attendance. That’s a lot better than the general statistic that says, “80% of the work is done by 20% of the congregation. For that I am grateful. Let’s continue to pray that we ALL catch the vision and find effective ways of being part of the body of Christ together (1 Corinthians Chapters 12 & 13 – current lectionary readings).
Jill Gray was able to help us identify four key areas or pillars of Ministry that we as a church want to see as the priority for the next phase of our journey. The four pillars are:-
- Children and Families
- People in Need
- Good Stewardship and Resources
There were two areas of our “Faith Goals” (Goal 5 and 6) that really need to be strengthened and worked on if we are going to develop these four pillars, above. I’ve listed the Faith Goals below with the scorecard noted next to each Faith Goal. (The scorecard is derived from how we perceive that we’ve have performed in the past 5 years.)
Our Faith Goals
1. Welcome people of all ages and backgrounds into a caring Christian community – 6/10
2. Invite people into relationship with Jesus Christ & encourage active participation – 5/10
3. Support & nurture people to know, understand & become more like Christ in the life of the church 5/10
4. Worship God faithfully through celebration, prayer, and study of the Bible – 8/10
5. Teach, encourage & empower people to use their gifts and resources for ministry – 2/10
6. Call, equip & support Christians to be leaders in the church & in the community – 2/10
7. Take Christ’s message of hope, acceptance and new life into the community through word and action 5/10
One of the immediate outcomes of our time together on Wednesday evening was a firm commitment to begin to develop Teams that will begin to work together in areas of calling, areas of interest and areas of giftedness. A strong commitment will be expected by all members of the congregation to be involved in a lifelong journey of spiritual growth and faith formation through the study of the Bible and involvement in small groups.
Cheryl Foote (my wife) will be the convener of our Small Group Ministry this year. Please talk to her about your willingness to be a leader or host or participant in a small group. There a number of existing groups that already meet in peoples homes but we will be starting a number of new groups throughout the year.
I will be leading a series of Studies during Lent each Sunday afternoon from 2-4pm, commencing on the 17th February which is the First Sunday in Lent. Please put your name on the list in the Atrium (on the round table) if you are interested.
I have pondered last week’s theme about “Changing The Landscape” a lot over this past week and I’m convinced that the Christian Church has an incredible responsibility to be a genuine force in the community as advocates for Jesus Christ who, changed the landscape of His day. We now are His body and are called to that ministry, through the power if His Spirit.
May you hear God’s call …..this week…as He Summons you to be reaching out, changing lives.
Rev. Brad Foote