The Way Forward

The Way Forward

Following the planning day, Archdeacon Jan Crombie was asked by Bishop Philip Huggins to connect with the Bellarine Gateway Parish, to facilitate some positive dialogue addressing the culture of the parish; and our missional aspirations for the parish.

Jan is an experienced workshop and small group facilitator, both in this Diocese and Brisbane Diocese. This includes strategic visioning and planning, and specific work with Parish Councils with leadership culture. Jan met with myself initially, and then again with the wardens and myself on Wednesday of this week. It is anticipated that Archdeacon Jan Crombie will meet with the parish council for a workshop on the Vision and Direction for the parish in early March.

So, we have the bare bones of a process mapped out. Jan has stressed that we must not enter this process with a predetermined outcome, but we must instead be prayerful, ready to listen to each other, and allow the truth of where God is leading this parish to be revealed. From this process, I anticipate beginning to understand not just the big question of the future of our parish, but the direction of our hospitality, outreach and related ministries.

To make this work well, the parish council needs to hear from all of us, the worshipping body of Christ in this parish. We are not planning to create a survey, but we would like to give you some pointers around which you might like to form a conversation with your closest parish councillor. This is your chance to speak up and use the strength of our Anglican decision making structure to have your thoughts heard.

First of all, here are the Diocesan Vision and directions 2017 to 2025 strategic directions. Can we answer each of these in the affirmative? Do they inspire you with new ideas?

  1. Be a compelling and outward-looking Christian presence in our communities.
  2. Reach across boundaries of human division to serve our communities and proclaim Christ.
  3. Be open to the Holy Spirit in transforming lives to be mature in Christ.
  4. Use all the energy that God powerfully inspires to better manage our human and capital resources.

The council would like you to talk to one of the Parish Councillors about your concerns for the parish, your likes and dislikes, your dreams for the parish, tell us what you value in the parish, and what we as a parish does well or otherwise. How do you see your personal ministry growing within the parish, for we all have a part to play in God’s Kingdom.

Paraphrasing Paul’s letter to the Corinthians today…. It doesn’t matter to God whether we are from St Barnabas’, St Paul’s or St Mark’s, one place may have planted your faith and the other fed it, but only God gives the growth.
Our challenge is to empty ourselves of our worldly concerns, and to focus on growing within God’s kingdom as mature and loving Christians.

God bless you and yours!
Rev’d Elizabeth

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