At our regional diocesan gathering last week the major repeated theme was mission. God’s people are called into mission, to reach those who do not know the living God, Jesus Christ, and to cooperate with His work in bringing them into His glorious and gracious kingdom. The focus on mission was everywhere.
The timing of this emphasis for the life of Holy Spirit Church could not have been better. We face some significant decisions for our life together and it behooves us to make these determinations on the basis of mission and identity. This time of change and transition is an opportunity to reflect on who we are as a church and who we believe God is calling us to be.
Our vision as a church is to be a church family that forms disciples, lives generously, and shares the love of God in our neighborhoods. We want to be the kind of people who receive God’s love in such a way that it shapes are relationships within the church. This love of God is unfathomably deep and we are called to grow into its vision of life as Christ’s disciples. A primary marker of that growth is increasing generosity, as we imitate our heavenly Father in His radical self-giving to those who love Him and those who do not. And we desire to be the kind of people who take this radically generous love out into the lives of those we love and with whom we live, work, and play.
The rhythms of our life together are designed to help us encounter, engage, and embody this vision. In worship we receive God’s love and express it in worship to Him and peace with one another. In small groups we grow through study and prayer, as well as invite our friends into this joyous love of God. In outreach we bring generosity of our time and talents to those who are not part of our congregation. Our church calendar attempts to be light and simple so that each of us can engage with our neighbors, relatives, friends, co-workers, and classmates. This is who we are called to be.
No matter the decision on where we are to worship, two things are clear to me (Fr. Brian). The first is that this vision will remain as it can happen anywhere and at any time. The second is that we are called to engage further in how we live out this vision, particularly how we reach out into the lonely and needy world.
Please continue to pray for one another, particularly pray that we can inhabit the peace of God and avoid the traps of fear and scarcity. The Lord loves us and has a good will and purpose for us at Holy Spirit Anglican Church as we remember who we are and our call to mission for Christ’s sake.