We would like to grow in Spiritual Maturity as a Parish and so the PCC formed a sub-group to consider how we might achieve this. We used the Diocesan review documents for Community and Personal Spiritual Maturity, which were really helpful tools to aid discussion.
There are four themes in the “Community” material:
Rooted Faith: how can we be a disciple unless we study scripture, understand how the Church came into being, know something about the Church of England (if we claim to be an Anglican) and engage in regular prayer and worship?
Working Faith: however we spend our days – in employment, unemployed, volunteering, job seeking, studying, retired, at home with children – and the list is endless – disciples need to be disciples all the time. Does our faith ‘work’ when we are at work? Do we see
our ‘secular’ lives as separate?
Responsible Faith: the environment, social justice, fairness, equality, stewardship, food production . . . how do we behave responsibly if we believe that God’s world is a gift?
Sharing Faith: being a disciple means witnessing to our faith whether that’s by telling stories, having a chat, engaging in direct evangelism, writing articles, being creative – and embodying Christ so that people see our faith and want to share in it.
For each of the four areas we spent time reviewing where we thought we were.
We also looked at the ‘Personal review’ and instead of each member of the group doing this individually, we considered how we as a church might help people address these and brainstormed ways to move forwards in areas that were difficult.
For each topic we then picked out what we considered to be the best ideas. Then at the end of the process we looked at all of the ideas again and determined which we wished to progress, and took these to the PCC for approval. They included:
We will have a knitted crib set for each church which people borrow for a day and tell the story wherever they take it – they add to a scrap book which accompanies it and then pass it on to the next person. This will help us take the story out into the rest of our lives.
What does it mean to be welcoming and inclusive?
Carol Singing on Badshot Lea Green
This should be a fun event at Christmastime and also a way of telling the Christmas story.
Next Lent – Bible Study with Sermons before hand.
We will have a commentary as a Lent book and encourage people to read their Bible through Lent, and talk about it at the groups.
Course on Prayer in May 2016
We will set up a series of weekday evening meetings with visiting speakers to introduce different forms of prayer.
More House Groups – start in September 2016
House groups are a great way to grow in faith but people have so little time. We will do a survey – ask about frequency/format/which nights/whether it is best that they last a finite time. Perhaps 6 weeks then a break – say 4 times a year.
We will interview people (not the usual suspects) to describe how they came to faith and who influenced them.
These ideas were received enthusiastically at the PCC and various suggestions to improve them were made.
Now all we have to do over the next year or so is to implement them!