Tuesday, August 28, 2012

September 2012 - Towards a Renewed Vision

Towards a Renewed Vision

A group of around twenty parishioners met on Saturday 18 August 2012 to begin the process towards a new three to five year vision for the Parish.  We began by reflecting on the Diocesan Theme, then on the importance of having a vision and mission, and finally focused in a SWOT analysis on what we would like to preserve from the past and achieve in the future. This process also included looking at what we need to stop doing, and things we’d like to avoid happening. This process is not yet 100% complete as the Youth are doing the same exercise during their Sunday Teen Church time.

So far we have discovered the following:

In terms of the Diocesan Vision, “Renewed and Empowered through Baptism to be “Servants of God and Stewards of the Mysteries of Christ” (1 Corinthians 4:1) we need to BE disciples of Christ and shift from religion to Faith, which implies an increase in our commitment, discipline and willingness to follow Christ in living out and exercising our Faith. We need to be equipped and willing to equip others as we seek to be qualified Ambassadors for God. We need to GO and live our Faith in our everyday lives amongst whoever we meet, and our words and actions need to identify us as disciples and point to Christ. We need to seek spiritual growth so that we can reach out both into the Parish and into the community, acknowledging that we are “sent” Sunday by Sunday to wherever there is need and opportunity. What we are called to DO is make disciples through being role-models, willing to take risks and to stand up and be counted. We need to serve and represent Christ by being salt (preserve, clean, flavour), light (guide, dispel darkness) and yeast (transform, bring to fullness) as we seek to build dedicated, committed and sustainable discipleship. We need to be a community of committed, caring disciples who offer ourselves to participate in growing a community of disciples that is sustaining and sustainable.

In terms of the SWOT analysis we wish to PRESERVE our leadership and management structures, continue to cherish our diversity, our particular Anglican traditions including the variety of worship opportunities offered (i.e. the quieter 7am Eucharist, and the more noisy 9am Eucharist). Also the family ethos of the Parish, our Sunday School, Teen Church, Confirmation and other programmes. We also wish to continue caring for our facilities (buildings and garden). We wish to ACHIEVE a wide participation in a shared vision for the Parish. This includes a renewed focus on education through workshops and relevant courses (e.g. Lent),   the retention of youth (beyond Confirmation/Matric) by utilising focused Youth programmes (there are a number developed beyond the Church), a strong sense of community across age-groups and building relationships through fellowship (encourage wider participation and involvement), exploiting Social Media as a method of communication and marketing. We also wish to find better ways to utilise our space, and look to plant a new congregation to our South-East. There are things we need to ELIMINATE such as ignorance of our vision and what it is to be Christian and Anglican, a lack of involvement, complacency and apathy among the members, including the disrespect and lack of courtesy shown by those who arrive late for services and functions, also a desire to be comfortable and not take risks. We wish to AVOID such things as radical change, destructive confrontation and criticism, exclusivity and intolerance, and procrastination. We’d like to also avoid increasing the size of our Church building, and we don’t wish to lose any Church members.

We realise everyone was not able to be present, but may have things to add that are important to you about our community. Please feel free to chat with the Clergy, the Wardens or members of Council. Once we have received input from our young people, the next step will be to formulate the above into vision, mission and priority statements. It is our intention to have these finalised in time for our Annual Vestry meeting in January 2013.