Annual Parochial Church Meeting 2006
By now you’ll all have heard of ‘Vision for Action’, especially if you read your ‘See Round’. Every parish is invited to think about its life and work in the light of five aims and also to share stories, skills and insights with other churches within the deanery and diocese. It has been going now since last year and it coincides with and fits in with our 125 celebrations. Today at our APCM we can use the five aims to take stock and look forward.
- Work together in love and commitment to proclaim the Kingdom of God. Mission. This is the basic task of the church, to further and continue the work of Jesus in proclaiming the Kingdom of God. It is something we all do together. It is an expression of love and commitment. It is an outward activity. It requires an exercise of the imagination as we seek to understand how others experience & view their lives. It requires a willingness to listen, to share our personal faith story and it can be sacrificial. What might we have to give up or change if the kingdom is to be furthered?
- Encourage, support and develop the ministry of each person. Our recent Easter sharing in Baptism served as a good reminder that in Baptism we are called to ministry. All ministry, lay and ordained has it roots in Baptism. Baptism is the basis for the priesthood of all believers. Again this requires us to look outwards. Our life of worship and prayer enables us to be Christ’s ministers in our daily lives.
- Encourage each parish to develop the use of church buildings as places of worship and mission. We are already advanced in this area. We have thought about making our buildings as accessible as possible and made necessary changes. We are looking at our seating, heating, lighting, decorating and cleaning needs as well. It is all about how we give physical expression to our faith.
- Strengthen the commitment to stewardship amongst clergy and laity in order to further the mission of the church. The PCC has been considering this and we plan to focus on stewardship over the coming summer. Basically Church costs – in terms of time, talents and finances. The challenge is for us to increase our personal giving levels by a few pounds each per week so that we can meet our expenses out of income freeing our capital to fund all the various projects we have in mind.
- Encourage and develop the necessary skills within parishes and deaneries to bring the Gospel to children and young people through worship, schools and other contexts. Like many churches our contact with younger people is limited but may be not as much as we think. There is much to build on through our Sunday school, toddler group, baptismal contacts and our all age service. The deanery is considering the specific of youth work as together it should be easier to find the resources for this kind of work.
In these few brief thoughts on the five aims of vision for action, there is a risk of being platitudinous. The challenge for us all is to make them come alive. That means being personal. Christianity is always about the personal sharing of our stories with others and of receiving the gospel personally into our lives. It is about personal and shared relationships with God.
Vision for Action Prayer
Almighty God and heavenly Father,
open our eyes
to see you at work in our world:
grant us wisdom in using our gifts,
grace to enliven our churches,
and courage to transform our communities.
By your Holy Spirit,
equip us for the challenge ahead,
excite us to follow your vision
and empower us in witness and service.
To you be the glory
through Jesus our Saviour
and mighty Redeemer.
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