“Centred on the Life and Teaching of Jesus”.
“SHAPING THE FUTURE”
“The Church is…God’s experimental garden on earth, a fragment of the reign of God, having the first fruits of the Spirit….” David Bosch “Transforming Mission”
A gardener’s work is never done. The same is true in God’s “experimental garden” as David Bosch describes the church, and Carrigrohane Union is no exception as we have been blessed in the areas of: “UP” the variety of worship; IN the generosity of heart that pervades our relationships, and OUT our desire to share the Good News with others. From year to year God has been at work amongst us, and we have much to be grateful for.
So it would be tempting to simply carry on tending “the garden” in all of its familiarity and look for more of His blessing. But the feedback from the surveys many completed in the Vision and Development process in 2013 makes it apparent that our garden needs attention. The vision that has brought us thus far so well (and the VDG has been very aware of this) needs to be renewed in the light of a very different world and new emerging patterns of church life.
So for the VDG 2013 was a time of preparing the soil, and we now invite everyone to be part of the next stage as we share together and listen to God for a vision for our future. Our desire is to grow those “first fruits” of the Kingdom of God, in ways which capture the natural rhythms and seasons that God uses in the natural world, which is always changing. And as nature co-operates in that process of change, we are too – in a way that requires imagination and careful preparation.
To help us, Philip Potter in his book “The Challenge of Change”, gives us six things for each of us to consider, if we as Carrigrohane Union are to embrace a new Vision of what God wants.
- A New Honesty about where we really are at the moment.
- A New Humility before God.
- A New Hunger as God can only fill those who are hungry.
- A New Kind of Hurt as we honour God with our sacrifices.
- A New Harmony where relationships are a priority.
- A New Kind of Hope by rising higher and seeing the world through God’s eyes.
As 2014 dawns let’s use these themes to pray.
May for all of us this New Year be a time of growth and knowing God’s presence, and the riches of His love and mercy. Ian