- Wholehearted Worship
- Daring Discipleship
- Right Relationship
- Thriving Communities
In May of this year, at the Diocesan Synod, the people of this diocese adopted a plan to move forward together in ministry. We adopted a provisional set of values, vision, and mission. Rather than the final destination, these statements are signposts that we discerned would provide a sense of direction for the next two years.
Wholehearted Worship. Daring Discipleship. Right Relationship. Thriving Communities.
These are the values out of which our diocesan vision and mission flow. They give us a sense of the pathways along which we will work towards our shared vision, one in which we are co-creating a world where all experience and share the transforming power of God’s love. This vision ought to shape our prayer and actions, as together–individuals, communities, parishes, the whole diocese–we seek to nurture and create such spaces in the world God loves.
Perhaps we start by nurturing these spaces within our existing church community. And yet, God’s call is rarely to turn away from the world. And so, as we listen for a fresh word from God, we ought to expect that what we hear in that deep and intentional listening will lead us beyond our doors to embody God’s dream, to share God’s love with our friends and neighbours each and every day.
If we still believe that God speaks and acts today (and I hope that we do!) then our mission is grounded in an active waiting. In expectant prayer and responsive action, we bear witness to a God whose Spirit still blows on the waters of Creation, and who sets our hearts aflame. We cultivate practices of listening, we cultivate practices of responding as disciples, and we cultivate practices of sharing the stories–even the ones we’re still trying to understand–of how God continues to transform our lives and the life of the world.
At Synod earlier this year, we said the following: “Stepping bravely into God’s emerging future, our mission is to cultivate thriving communities embodying and bearing witness to God’s love through Christ for all of Creation.”
We do this work in our own congregations as we ask, “what does it look like to thrive at this moment as we are?” Without dwelling in the past, we ask, “how might we thrive in faithful living today?” Perhaps we take the opportunity to consider how we might collaborate with another congregation in our diocese. Perhaps we consider how we might embody this mission in ecumenical partnership or an interfaith collective. Sometimes, as we look around, we find partners in places we once thought unlikely, and we wonder if this is something God is nudging us to consider.
The thing about all of this, of course, is that we aren’t in this alone. We do this work with God, and with one another. As a diocesan community of communities, we seek to support one another, to share in the work, to share our learnings, and to share the charisms and insights of each community.
As we continue to walk together on this path forward, individual communities throughout the diocese will express their own unique mission in response to the world’s deep needs in their local communities knowing that, as a diocese, we will support one another in pursuing God’s mission in these concrete ways.