Time of Increase: Part 2

Children grouped round table.

 

 

We finished last week with the question;

Do we – as a Parish – demonstrate a life of increase?

I believe we are, and in several vital areas that I have been observing over the last few years.

Logo from Conciliation Service

Through the Conciliation/Celebration Service, in September 2009, we acknowledged to ourselves – and to the Masterton Community – that we have a chequered history that had split the church several times.

 

 

Men practise their items at the rehearsal prior to the Conciliation Service, 2009

The blokes practise their items at the rehearsal prior to the Conciliation Service, 2009

We confessed outwardly. As a result, congregationally we are beginning to respect and trust each other and work more together. Some relationships began to heal; others discovered there are great people in the other congregations. Slowly as a Parish we are discovering a strength that comes in our diversity, as we agree to disagree and work more together – unity is possible in our disunity.

Congregation sharing the Peace at St Alban's, Tauweru

Congregation share the Peace at St Alban’s, Tauweru

But forgiveness and rebuilding trust takes time, yet it gives birth to new life and hope. It’s a work in progress – that’s Increase in action.

Catechesisreceivescommunion

Children of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd receive communion

Let us be encouraged by Jesus words to His disciples who often discussed who were the most important among themselves.

 “By this the world will know, that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35)

Secondly; do you notice the makeup of the congregations is changing? There is a greater diversity. More representative of the demographics of the society we live in……not just old people…..not just middle/upper class people….not just successful wealthy people?

That’s Increase. And there is more to come, even greater things, as we continue to grow in tolerance and kindness and put others a little higher than ourselves.

What do you think?

Steve

Vicar’s Call for 2013 – Increase

Moses with the Ten Commandments

Moses with the Ten Commandments

When we read the story of Moses, we find that he often made decisions on behalf of the People of Israel, because God spoke directly to him in the Tent of the Tabernacle.

In the current world of growing individualism, Mosaic type leadership is not popular. Yet I believe there is still a place for it in the theocracy of the church.

Jesus himself was very forthright in “leading the way,” and the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church after Pentecost is very much about releasing the prophetic leadership ministry, but to more than just one leader as in the Old Testament time of Moses.

We need to hear this prophetic ministry of encouragement more than ever, as we seek to build the Kingdom of God in a sceptical world of unbelief.

As your Vicar I am called to lead the Parish, first and foremost. to extend the Kingdom of God – to share the God news that everyone can have life in its fullness. That is, trusting in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, and giving over our lives to his lordship.

I believe we are in a time of “Increase,” individually and as a Parish; spiritually, physically and numerically.

It’s a big call and I lay a challenge to some in the Parish to confirm this, through their prophetic gift of leadership.

Over the next few weeks I will use this space to expound various thoughts on this call of “Increase” and invite you to respond directly and or by making a comment on this blog.

Steve.