“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”
Philippians 4:4 (TNIV)
2011 marks our 30th Anniversary as the Parish of Corpus Christi in Garsfontein. From our humble beginnings in 1981 we have grown into a fully fledged Anglican parish, and are able to hold our heads high in the Diocese and in the Pretoria East Archdeaconry. Paul’s words to the Philippians (above) echo the nature of Christian life at Corpus Christi, and I pray will be words that enfold us during our celebrations next month. The Message translates this verse as,
“Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him!”
What do we celebrate?
Firstly, we celebrate that we have been called by God to be a part of the Missio Dei (the Mission of God) in this part of Pretoria, and to make a difference for God in the communities we serve. Secondly, we celebrate those who had the courage to step out in faith, trusting God, to give birth and nurture this community in the early days. Thirdly, we give thanks for everyone who is presently part of the life and mission of Corpus Christi Anglican Church in Garsfontein!
As we look back in thanksgiving for God’s faithfulness to us over 30 years, it is equally important to look forward and ensure that we have a life-giving and creative vision for our future. A vision is built on what we believe in, on what is important to us.
Our parish survey during 2010 highlighted that “belonging” and “family” are important to us at Corpus Christi, along with our “intra-cultural harmony”. It is critical that we build these three values into the foundation of our present and any future vision.
The survey also affirmed that our parish life offers significant opportunities for meaningful caring and worship.
The survey highlighted that we are being true to our present “Statement of Purpose”, the core of which is being a place where others meet Christ. The “Statement of Purpose” also affirms that we value friendship, youth participation and broad-based parishioner involvement. These create that sense of belonging , family and intra-cultural harmony that the survey highlights.
Vision is all about creating a worldview that is compelling, truthful and motivating. The challenge that lies ahead for us is that the context that defined us in 1981 no longer defines us or the communities we serve in 2011. Physically, in 1981, we were on the very eastern outskirts of Pretoria; not so in 2011!
Our present “Statement of Purpose” has carried us through a significant few years of transition, and it is important that we review our vision, our sense of purpose, our values, our mission as we look forward into our next decade.
How do you see our future?