Rabbits in the headlights
18 months into incumbency, this LYCiG course was perfect timing. It was an exciting project not just for me but an opportunity for the Benefice as we continue our journey with God.
My Lay Reader and two of my AWAs attended the course with me.
For me, it provided space to reflect, to stop and to hear God speak and be encouraged personally in my calling. Wendy, one of my AWAs, found Rowan Williams’ quote “Mission is about finding where God is at work, and joining in” gave a whole new perspective on thinking about mission.
As the four days went on so our excitement grew. Our discussions were focused, wide ranging and in context. The practical examples and structures to help us look with new eyes at our parishes was helpful. The activities provided focus, identifying areas to grow in and a sharpness to the priorities; it was like pieces of the jigsaw falling into place for our next steps.
As Maggie, another of the AWAs said “When I focused on the huge number of people in our Benefice who know little or nothing about the Gospel, the task of reaching them seemed daunting and overwhelming and I felt like a rabbit in headlights. I learned that it becomes more achievable when we focus on those who we identify as seekers.”
We came away with a plan for 2018/2019. Being back in the Benefice it was important not to lose our excitement but it was crucial the three congregations were also informed, and encouraged as we embark on this phase of our mission journey together. As I write this we’ve completed five of a six week sermon series focusing on vision and our sense of calling, prayer, welcome and hospitality, radical inclusion, worship (our heart) and building a plan for growth. The LYCiG prayer is prayed in a variety of ways each week with every member of the congregation having a copy to use in their own prayer time. Our missional priority is developing family work, the area that “screamed” at us following an activity around our connections in an activity on the course. Another incumbent and I have buddied up as encouraging challengers, planning to meet quarterly.
My Lay Reader, Richard, sums up the potential, “It has drawn us together to hear God, rejuvenate our prayers and focus on what really matters”.
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