Engaging with the Presbytery Mission Planning so far … Part 4
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.
The team that is organising the mission planning worked with those themes to identify common themes that were repeated through what people said of the stories and Bible readings. Here again are the clusters of common themes that emerged.
Across the last few 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, the account at the start of John 6 of Jesus feeding the 5000, and the parable of the mustard seed/bush found in Matthew 13:31-32. For the mission planning process, this week you are encouraged to dwell in Isaiah 58, especially verses 6-12. To dwell in this passage, you may find it helpful to ponder the following suggestions by yourself or with a partner or perhaps a small group:
Consider how this passage shows God calling to the people for a new way.
What is it in the passage 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 passage for you, and what provision is there for it?
What signs of faithful practices are present in the passage? 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
, on zoom starting at 10am through to lunch. Our time together will include sharing our thoughts on this passage (and the others mentioned above) and how it connects with the common themes that have emerged from the mission planning so far.
These common themes and Bible passages have emerged from the stories we told on March 19 of times when we clearly saw God at work in our congregations, faith communities and agencies across the Presbytery. The May 21 session will also include the beginning of planning how we will respond to God’s work among us. With the four clusters of common themes in mind, we will dream about the future across our Presbytery by engaging together in the following questions:
- What is being born and how can Presbytery (our grouping of congregations, faith communities and agencies) help it to arrive well?
- What would Presbytery (our grouping of congregations, faith communities and agencies) look like at its best?
This second mission planning day on May 21st
is an open session for all to attend. The zoom link for the meeting is https://uca-nswact.zoom.us/j/98307368476?pwd=a3FTc3ZlSVpYbHc0akx6TjYrQTNhZz09