Sunday the 29th March is the midway point of our six month worship experiment and it is Palm Sunday, the day when Jesus welcomed the worship and praise of EVERYONE.
So the timing of our United Celebration could not have been better, changed as it from the first Sunday in April because of Easter Day, IT WOULD BE WONDERFUL TO THINK THAT EVERYONE WOULD BE THERE, so far as possible, to worship, to pray, to reflect on the new worship patterns, to picnic, and do business with our annual Easter General Vestry (EGV). The details are on the front of the ANNOUNCE sheet. To keep the EGV moving swiftly, these remarks are being distributed now, and will follow the themes used in the VISION 2015 -18 documents.
First of all, a huge ‘thank-you’ to everyone for graciously being flexible in responding to the experiment.
Without wishing to prejudge the findings of the interim questionnaires, it is really very encouraging to see so many using their gifts in worship in new ways, and to say how important the space for preparation and prayerfulness has been. We look forward to discovering God’s will and that’s why the interim questionnaires, followed by a longer version ln late May, will be very important.
Increasingly, church and mission thinkers are saying we have neglected developing a culture of discipleship, where every member is equipped to witness on their “front-line” i.e. the place we find ourselves when we’re not gathered as church. In CUP we have many front-lines – how do we equip you to be fruitful on your front-line?
And how does this compliment what God has been saying to us about a new “front-line” in Ballincollig? At the moment we have many questions and there is a matter to consider that could be timely, which we will tell you all about at the EGV.
Two developments have underscored the importance of re assessing the scope of our mission. Firstly, the experimental season of worship has highlighted how few families there are with children of National School Age.
Secondly, since one of the most fruitful Alpha courses (led with help from CUP) last autumn, God seems to be challenging us to work more closely with our friends in Whitechurch and Waterloo. There is a thirst for the Holy Spirit and a hunger for the Word all around these friends of ours and they are asking us to support them more than ever. It feels like “front-line” mission.
The Carrigrohane Union Family is a wonderful expression of positive and healthy relationships. Like any family though, there is the nuts and bolts of living, which we simply get on with. In the church context we have to choose to do so, and that is not easy when we are spread over three centres with many committed to different ministries. The most pressing issue is the role of church warden, and I have begun a conversation with the Select Vestry as to how we might develop “warden teams” to share the responsibility.
Like all families we need buildings to live and work in. For a relatively small number of people we have responsibilities for eight premises and numerous churchyards! Here is a summary of the issues of the moment, which doesn’t do justice to the amount of energy time and effort they all take, such as the unseen work of cleaning.
The Church Buildings
New PA and sound systems have been installed in all 3 churches and the Parish Centre, thanks to an anonymous donor. In Blarney, with Walter now no longer managing heavy work we have had to adjust and employ a handyman in regard to the grounds. St Peters – we have revamped the coffee area adding another pew in the process, and continued to battle with the problem of damp but have stopped the puddle at the church gate!
St Peter’s is looking really good having fallen behind early last year, and it is hoped to upgrade the central path in the newer part of the grounds. In Blarney much pruning is required. We are also responsible for the graveyards of deconsecrated churches such as Coachford where the grass is cut by church members. (Nb it is hoped to employ two TUS (FAS) workers for ongoing maintenance and grass cutting in 2015.)
THANKS x 1m
We are astonishingly blessed with so many who graft and give their time and talents in regard to the above and all ministries. It is invidious to name anyone, but there is one exception this year. Mick O’Dea is retiring as Treasurer after two terms of service. His ability to foresee trends, watch gaps, and give direction has been remarkable. He has done so efficiently and objectively, not wanting his own opinion to shape Select Vestry policy.
Finally, Robert Ferris and I are hugely appreciative of your commitment to Christ, His Kingdom and His church in which we have been called to minister- it is our privilege and joy and thank you for your support and forbearance when we get it wrong!
Ian Jonas, March 2015