In our rapidly developing 21st century world, change is now the only constant! Our city is continually adapting and ever expanding (as shown by the current housing developments close to St Edeyrn’s), and modern technology has brought about societal change on a level that previous generations could never have imagined. In addition, we now find ourselves in an increasingly post-Christian society, where the old adage that ‘the parish church is at the centre of the community’ sadly no longer applies.
In light of all this, it is essential that as a ministry area we keep asking ourselves the question, ‘Who is God calling us to be?’ in this place, and at this time. What kind of churches is God inviting us to become in order to continue to be a faithful witness in our changing communities? And how can we make plans that, with God’s help and grace, will enable us to become the people he is calling us to be?
How we answer these questions is vital to our future both as individual churches and as a whole Ministry Area. It’s a conversation which needs to include all of us, praying, discussing and listening together.
Therefore I can announce that this year throughout 2018, will be ‘A Year of Listening’. Together we will focus on: (1) Listening to God; (2) Listening to one another; and (3) Listening to our communities, in order to develop an action plan for at least the next 5 years.
The Ministry Area Council has agreed my proposal to bring together a small team of people from across the churches who will help facilitate and shape this process. This group won’t make any decisions on their own, but will be responsible for making sure everyone’s voice is heard across the Ministry Area. We will work together prayerfully, finding ways for us to listen to God, the different views within our Ministry Area and the local community. Then we will bring together everything that we’ve heard into a shared vision for our future, and an action plan for how to get there.
So that everyone’s voice can be heard, our three upcoming Ministry Area services in April, in July and in September, will be key. These will be special services where we come together to pray and discuss what shape the vision should take together. They will be held in a neutral and flexible space, in St Teilo’s High School, to enable us to make the most of the time we have.
I hope you will, like me, see this as the start of something new and exciting in the life of our ministry area, a chance to shape a shared vision of the future together, in which we can all input.
Taken from this month’s Ministry Area Magazine, which is now available in churches.
2018 Ministry Area Services
Our ‘Year of Listening’ Ministry Area Services will take place on:
- April 29th
- July 1st
- September 30th
All starting at 10.30am in St Teilo’s Church in Wales High School.