Three Initiatives you may wish to join

Three Initiatives you may wish to join

I am delighted to commend to you three new initiatives for our church which seek to respond to issues of critical importance in our time:

  1. The Environment
  2. Mental Health
  3. Race

I am very grateful to Paula Sofowora who has offered to gather those who feel called to respond to these issues. Please read her letter below for further information. If you would like to participate in our thinking and/or action in any of these areas please contact Paula at  psofowora@yahoo.com.

Blessings

Colin

_____________________________________________________________________

 

Hello everyone,

I hope you and your families are well and healthy, and that you are enjoying the summer weather.

I am writing to share 3 exciting, initiatives with you which I have been thinking and praying about for several months. They support some of
the five marks of mission which had been developed by the Anglican Consultative Council since 1984.  Since then, the marks of mission have been widely adopted as an understanding of what contemporary mission is about. The marks were adopted by the General Synod of the Church of England in 1996 and many dioceses and other denominations use them as the basis of action plans and creative mission ideas.

I would like to know your views on the matter and if you would like to get involved.

ECO CHURCH

CofE Mark of Mission 4: To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.

Eco Church is A Rocha UK’s award scheme for churches in England and Wales who want to demonstrate that the gospel is good news for God’s earth.

A Rocha UK is a Christian charity working for the protection and restoration of the natural world, both as a response to the biblical mandate to care for the earth, and as a demonstration of the Christian hope for God’s world.

The vision is to create a vast network of churches as local centres of creation care in the community – shining beacons of hope for a brighter environmental future. The  vision was endorsed by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams speaking at the launch of Eco Church at St Paul’s Cathedral in January 2016 and the idea is to ensure that environmental concerns become ‘embedded more deeply’ in church culture.

Please visit the website : https://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/ and view the survey questions which I propose that we complete as a church. The result will highlight areas that require attention and form the basis of our action plan. We will also start collecting points towards an Eco Church Award. The more we do , the more points we collect. There is a video presentation which will be posted on the website for those of you who would like further information.

Charity starts at home though so I would like to encourage everyone to consider the Buildings and Lifestyle section of the survey in relation to your respective homes and places of work.

Action:

  • Survey to be completed. PS and CH;
  • Expressions of interest in working party to PS;
  • PCC Decision regarding any proposals.

MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING

CofE Mark of Mission 3:  To respond to human need by loving service.

CofE Mark of Mission 4: To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation.

We may not collectively have the expertise to delve too deeply into mental health and wellbeing but I feel called quite strongly to show love to vulnerable brothers and sisters in our church and community.

I was thinking of a monthly drop in session at St Johns. Activities could include the following :   Film night, Zumba, Games night, Arts and Craft, Curry night or a guest speaker on relevant topics of interest. These are just a few suggestions but I would welcome feedback from the congregation and especially those who might benefit from the service and or have first-hand experience of a need in this regard, and what a solution might look like.

I would like to compile a handy fact sheet which will include important information to sign post vulnerable individuals to the correct professional services and contact details. Suggestions as to what else should be included in this guide would also be appreciated.

Action:

  • Expressions of interest and feedback to PS;
  • PCC Decision regarding final proposals.

 

LET’S TALK ABOUT RACE

CofE Mark of Mission 4: To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation.

Several non- black friends and colleagues have reached out to me following the death of George Floyd and subsequent global BLM movement that gathered momentum.

The Rev’d John Townsend of Holy Trinity, and St Michael, Rayleigh has produced a helpful Bible study called “Let’s Talk about Race” comprising three sessions (Session One: black and immigrant in the Bible; Session Two: all one in Christ; and Session Three: compassion and justice for all).

Racism is an evil and unjust structure of society. We are called as Christians to love our neighbours as ourselves and racism is an affront to this commandment and to God. I believe this resource would be a helpful and practical study guide that will help facilitate difficult but important conversations that need to be had as a church at home and in the wider community.

I would like to canvas the congregation’s interest in a study group talking about Race, using this resource.

Action:

  • Expressions of interest and feedback to PS;
  • PCC Decision regarding final proposals.

At this stage I am consulting to see what people think. Please email psofowora@yahoo.com if you are interested in any of these 3 initiatives or if you have any feedback or comments.

God bless, stay safe and kind regards,

Paula

About the author

Perry Childs administrator