November 2017 update from the Imagine stream:
The Diocesan Mission Strategy 2021 opens with:
“To God who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine...” (Ephesians 3.20-21)
What is it to imagine? To some it is just naïve fanciful daydreaming, wistful wonderings whilst the pragmatists roll-uptheir-sleeves and get on with the business of reality. However, imagination can be world transforming if we give it over to God and allow the Holy Spirit to enable us to be co-creators with Him. Jesus often spoke of God’s Kingdom being near, even though the reality of life in 1st century Palestine was oppressive under Roman occupation. Yet, through his life and teachings Jesus empowered his followers to imagine and live out God’s Kingdom there-and-then: spiritual imaginings became physical reality. In the same way the Church is called to imagine a better world, to live out that imagining now, and point to Jesus the one who makes those imaginings a reality.
This ‘imagine’ dynamic is what people saw in microcosm at the Bishop’s Day of Celebration and Prayer. It started with a blank sheet of paper and prayer, and ended up with immense creativity. To enter the Imagine zone you stepped through Dr Who’s time travelling TARDIS and leapt to the 1950s when the Church was at the centre of community, a hub for socialising, celebrating and shaping lives. We remembered and were thankful for the treasures we had back then.
In the present we held up a mirror to ourselves and looked at how society stereotypes Church as judgemental, selfobsessed or irrelevant, but also recognised the Church’s ongoing love and service to the most marginalised people in our society. We reflected on our current standing and that we are just viewed as one of many options that people can follow to shape their lives.
Finally, we leapt into the future by entering into the fantasy world of Narnia. There we were encouraged to imagine what the Church could/should/would look like. Do you dare to imagine and work with God to create the Church of tomorrow today?
The stream is led by the Bishop of Lynn, assisted by the Bishop's Officer for Women's Ministry and other designated officers. The aims are to: