Engaging with the Presbytery Mission Planning so far -
From Rev Andrew Smith
Presbytery Minister - Congregation Futures
Against the wonderful backdrop of 36+ inspiring stories of God at work among us through the history of this Presbytery, participants in the March 19th Presbytery Mission Planning process took the opportunity to find Biblical narratives that resonate with what they had heard. Importantly, as people spoke about the Bible passages, they also described the themes that the stories and Bible passages had in common. Here is a summary of what was said by half of the groups that day. Next week we will hear from the other half.
The team that is organising the mission planning worked with the above input from all the groups to identify common themes that were repeated through what people said of the stories and Bible readings. Here are the clusters of common themes that emerged.
Across the Biblical narratives and passages that were mentioned on the day, most of them were mentioned once only. Two passages were both mentioned twice. One of the twice mentioned passages is John 6:1-15 – Jesus feeding the 5000.
For the mission planning process, the planning team encourages you to dwell in this account of Jesus feeding the 5000 over the coming weeks by pondering the following suggestions by yourself or with a partner or perhaps a small group:
Consider the ways the passage shows God acting, calling or preparing the way for something new to be created.
What is it in the story that shows Jesus and the disciples moving outward to be present and engaged with the wider community? What would the disciples have to let go of in their traditions? What new thing are they called to embrace?
What is new, surprising, unexpected in this passage for you, and what provision is there for it?
What signs of faithful practices are present in the story? Where in the story do you see faith growing and being shared?
The next session for the Presbytery mission planning will happen in the morning of the Presbytery meeting on Saturday May 21st. Our time together will include sharing our thoughts on this passage and how it connects with the common themes that have emerged from the mission planning so far. It is an open session for all to attend. More details to come later.