Responding to the call of Jesus
When Keith James brought the LyCiG conference to the diocese it coincided with key changes at St Stephen’s with new people having recently taken on new responsibilities as churchwardens and ordinand.
Four of us attended the course together. We spent a lot of time talking together. It was very encouraging and helped us build our connections as a team. We brought back to the PCC what we had learned. It started building our courage to look beyond our four walls and encouraged us that small steps were significant. We did not have to do it all at once, but we did need to start praying for growth, in numbers, spiritual commitment, and service. As a result, we printed the “LyCiG prayer” on bookmarks which were distributed throughout the church. A number of us were already praying every weekday morning and we added this prayer to our prayer pattern. We have prayed that prayer every weekday now for many years.
Apart from the prayer I think the lasting impact was in changing our attitudes. This may well have contributed to the willingness of the PCC to welcome an exhibition by secular artists in the church called “After the storm?” This came about because during lockdown I joined the HeartEdge community, an ecumenical community connected with St Martin in the Fields, London. These artists responded to a proposal that contained many verses of scripture and agreed that as a church we could interpret their work for ourselves using Biblical narrative. This has formed close friendships outside the church, enriched our cafe space, given people an opportunity to reflect on the last 18 months and so much more. If we had not talked about the LyCiG principles with the PCC they might not have been prepared to engage with people outside the church in such a positive way.
LyCiG is a great course and can have multiple spin-offs. We have found that it helped us respond to the call of Jesus to take the gospel into the world. Anglican churches who are in every community in the land have a particular challenge at this time, but it is essential that we step up to the challenge, LyCiG helps show you how you might do this.
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