Thank you to everyone who took part in the October Synod discussion about being a ‘Missional Synod’. Now is the time to put the commitment we made into action! I invite you, therefore, to respond to the following five questions:
- Can you let me know, please, if your congregation is committed to this initiative?
It may be that you are already involved in a programme of mission – perhaps through ‘Leading Your Church Into Growth’, ‘Inviting Forward’, ‘Holy Habits’, or through other material that you find helpful. Let us know what is working for you.
Or it may be that you are unsure how to start, but are open to the possibility and would welcome help.
Whichever best describes you, can you just reply to this email to let us know ‘you’re in’?
- The first step we committed to at Synod was simply to pray – to ‘wait dangerously’ whilst we open ourselves to God’s Spirit.
As I’ve been leading worship around the Synod, I’ve noticed that many of our churches already use a prayer, the LYCiG prayer for example, or the Walking the Way, as a regular part of worship and at meetings. One church has combined the two, as at the bottom of this letter. You may well be able to think of other ways to do it – but will you join this commitment to pray?
- To move things forward I need a small working party to help me. Do you know anyone who might be interested, or might you be?
- We know that, to be effective in mission, churches need leadership. We know from your feedback to the Pastoral Committee’s task group known as ‘Vision and Opportunity’ that leadership is a key issue for our churches. Our patterns of leadership – or our apparent lack of it – vary from church to church. During the first half of 2022, with the Synod Team I will be arranging to visit every part of the Synod with a ‘Roadshow’, to talk together about leadership. Where Mission and Care Groups are well-established, we will be seeking an invitation to one of your meetings. Where they are not happening, we will find suitable venues across the Synod where we can gather. We hope from these meetings we will be able to see more clearly how we can support each other in the missional challenge. Will you support these roadshows when they arrive in your area?
- We don’t want to over-burden churches. However, two other important themes were included in our Synod agenda. They are the response to the Legacies of Slavery report, and the challenge to become an ‘Eco Synod’. Whilst these are both important issues in their own right, I think they are also part of our mission conversation. We can’t expect to be taken seriously by the world if we are not engaging with the issues at the forefront of our public discourse. As part of our response to the challenge of mission, will you respond, as we send out material, to these two issues in particular?
I hope these five questions set us on a journey that will help us respond faithfully to the challenge to be missional disciples of Jesus.
God of Mission
who alone brings growth to your Church,
send your Holy Spirit to give
vision to our planning,
wisdom to our actions,
power to our witness
and joy to our worship.
Help our church to grow in numbers,
in spiritual commitment to you,
and in service to our local community.
Lord of all,
as you walked this earth
sharing love, grace and mercy,
we pray that we will
place our footsteps in yours
and walk where you lead
as we live out your life in our daily living
for Jesus’ sake
Realizing that arrangements for Christmas will now be taking over church agendas, can I ask for you to respond by 31st January 2022.
Yours in Christ,
Read this letter in a word document
Read the discussion paper presented at Synod.