Engaging with the Presbytery Mission Planning so far … Part 3
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. Last week we heard from half of the groups that day. Here is a summary of what was said by the other half.
The team that is organising the mission planning worked with the above input (and that from last week) 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 last couple of weeks in these feedback articles, opportunities have been provided to dwell in biblical narratives and passages that were mentioned on the day. So far, we have looked at the story of Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8:26-40 and the account of Jesus feeding the 5000. For the mission planning process, this week you are encouraged to dwell in the parable of the Mustard Seed/Bush found in Matthew 13:31-32. To dwell in this parable, you may find it helpful to ponder the following suggestions by yourself or with a partner or perhaps a small group:
Consider the ways the parable creates the image of God acting or preparing the way for something new to be created.
What is it in the parable that shows a movement outward for the sake of others and to be present and engaged with them? What would we have to let go of to follow in this movement? What new thing are we called to embrace?
What is new, surprising, unexpected in this parable for you, and what provision is there for it?
What signs of faithful practices are present in the parable? Where in the parable 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 via zoom. 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.