Generosity ~ Joy ~ Imagination ~ Courage
Last month the Archbishop’s of Canterbury and York called for a Week of Prayer for Evangelism in the Church of England; something the Vicar wrote about in his letter to the magazine last month. But evangelism is something that needn’t be confined to a week in May! As a wise person once said, to talk about a missional church is to talk about wet water.
Recently we were also blessed by a visit from Dean Pusey, the Diocesan Youth Advisor, who came to visit the clergy, youth workers and synod members of the deanery. Dean reminded us of Living Gods Love 2020, and the Diocese of St Alban’s encouragement that we live out our faith and ministry with generosity, joy, imagination and courage. Very often this can mean completely reimagining what it is that we do and reimagining what it is to be ‘church’.
Over the past decade the Church of England came to realise that doing as we’ve always done wasn’t working, congregation numbers were declining, and so it began to encourage new and different ways of worship and sharing our faith; sometimes called ‘fresh expressions’.
Whenever a minister is ordained in the Church of England we promise to proclaim the faith of the Church ‘afresh in each generation’. It is a hard task, but it is one for us all, as members of God’s Church and followers of Christ. And so as we continually think about our ministry, our worship, and our mission in this place of Bishop’s Stortford, I wonder what ideas you have as to how we might grow our church and proclaim the faith we hold and cherish to each new generation afresh?
Recent and new initiatives such as Messy Church and Bridge Youth Church seek to address this task but they rely on all of us, as members of St Michael’s Church, to work with and resource them. And so this month I would like to encourage you all to pray for these ministries of our church, and to think and pray about whether you could be a part of these ministries and fresh expressions within St Michael’s. For it is by reimagining our ministry and evangelism in this 21st Century context, that we might then be able to ensure that there is a thriving St Michael’s Church – and God’s Church – of the future.