The first three sessions we held earlier in the year had a focus on the stage we have reached in our understanding of Mission and Church Growth. From these sessions, we have now identified some key themes which we want to explore further as we seek to make some definite plans for the future:
- How and when to invite people;
- How we can journey with people;
- How we can make worship appealing.
Now we are moving on the the final three sessions.
The fourth session which will be at St Andrew’s next Sunday, 21 October and at Mary MacKillop on 4 November, will give us the chance to think through our own faith journey and to think of different ways we can invite other people to connect with our Church Family. With the best intentions in the world, we often invite people to events that don’t really connect with them. This session will give us some time to explore, using our own stories, how and when we can invite others. Read the Planning Session 4 booklet here
The fifty session (St Andrew’s on 28 October; Mary MacKillop on 11 November) is a focus on our faith journey and how we have explored and continue to explore and deepen our own faith. This leads us into thinking about the kinds of ‘systems’ and ministries that our parish can or could have in the future to help others explore and deepen their own faith. We will consider the kinds of functions that helped us deepen our faith, especially when we were new to church (or what might have helped us) and how some of these functions – like a companion or a small group – can be offered to those who want to know more about Spirituality, especially Christian Spirituality. Read the Planning Session 5 booklet here
The final session (St Andrew’s on 4 November; Mary MacKillop on 18 November) will be a little more challenging for us as clergy, but it will be a chance for you to offer feedback about what you like, and don’t like, in worship! Worship is for all of us and is often referred to as the ’work of the people’ even though much of our Anglican way of doing things can appear to be “Priest Centred”. So our final session will step us through the worship that we currently have and get us thinking about what might be essentially Anglican, what might be a tradition here that we like but don’t understand, and then what might be helpful to the new person who walks off the street into church worship. I suggest it might be challenging because some of the questions in the session focus on the length of sermons and the tone of voice used in the service – which can be a little scary for those of us who do have to do this on a regular basis… but there are also some questions around how we could offer welcome, hospitality, music, and so much more in our worship. Read the planning Session 6 booklet here
We are sure that just like the last sessions, these next three sessions will be informative and interesting and that, while they will test our brain power early on Sunday mornings, they will be fruitful discussions for our parish future. We encourage everyone to come along and have their say!