We recently made a video summarising the inter-generational Coffee House project:
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Come along tonight to St. Andrew’s, Dibden Purlieu, to see the Mark Drama. A brilliant FREE performance of the life of Jesus, one of the most amazing stories ever, in 90 minutes. The cast (members of St Andrew’s and Above Bar Churches): Charlie Besley, Richard Merrit, Tim Rowlandson, Tom Besley, Serena Carthy, Jane Nicholson, Pippa Brown, Femi Adeniran, Jenny Blake, Rebecca Trollope, Eryl Martin, Callum Johnstone, Leila Hyde, Andy Neal, Laszlo Penzes
Doors open from 7pm, with drinks afterwards in the Coffee House for a chance to meet the cast at the after show party!
Thoughts for Coffee
Moral therapeutic deism – if you’re good you go to heaven, deism – God is not very active, he made it not by much, therapeutic – he’s active if I need him. The issue is how do we prayer and undermine this through the little things we say in conversation. Firmly believe we can change the spiritual climate of a parish – it just depends how prayerfully, thought fully and intelligently we interact with the three issues of moral therapeutic deism.
John Currin – Context of Change
A lot of change since 2007 – very significant changes – the new coffee shop approaching completion – want to begin to use it but not yet finished – hoping for a grand opening in the new year. We are a more secular land than we used to be – Percy spoke brilliantly about that on Sunday night. Significant changes in our staff – administration, care-taking, youth and children’s and assistant clergy. On continuity is John and Jill Lewis. A lot of changes in the Diocese with 3 new bishops – central and two suffragen – and two new Archdeacons.
What is God calling us to invest in, we don’t have a bottomless pit – we have finite resources of people, finance etc. One thought from Tom Wright on building the kingdom of God and building for the kingdom of God. Really important distinction – we are infected by the concept of progress – political progress, economic progress, education progress, technological progress – in the church we think the church should be getting better and better, and we should see more of the kingdom of God. This is not, what +Tom Wright was saying when the new Jerusalem comes there will be a similarly, a continuity of what is happening, and wonderfully what we are doing in Christ will be translated into what is to come. So as we seek to serve what is done is not done in vain, but will somehow in mystery and beauty mean something. That is what we are called to invest our energy in – we don’t get discouraged.
As way of conclusion want to give to you what has come from the Diocesan Synod. The Bishops Staff Team, Diocesan Synod and a number of guests spent time working together looking at what are the priorities for us. We need to do a few things very well.
John Currin – Diocesan Priorities
Under God, delighting in His grace and rooted in the Diocesan rule of life, we will be a Diocese in which:
Feedback and discussion
What is the Diocesan rule of life? Prayer gives us discernment, not just running around being busy. The Bishop proposes that the Diocese develops a Rule of Life. Monastic movements have rules of life, disciplines they follow, and people will be invited for people to follow, and bring some commonality – the means by which people engage with God.
Struggle with the poor grammar. Written following debate of over 200 people during 4 days this week. This is not the finished article – it will be polished at Diocesan Synod for church leaders, lay people i.e. congregation, non-Christians.
What do some of these words mean? Radical, breath-taking etc.
What is capacity building? If we increase numbers we need to increase resources, including building, finance and people.
What is a mixed economy? Effectively saying the diocese has a breadth of approaches from traditional evensong, to contemporary services, methods of spirituality and worship.
Authentic discipleship – a depth of integrity.
How will we interact with it?
Feel humbled and that Winchester is quite a traditional diocese and yet the priorities seem to fit with what we as a church are passionate for.
What are currently doing that looks like these?
As a leadership and PCC we will seek to implement this for how it will work best here. It is a steer bearing in mind that we can’t do everything. Otherwise we will fall into doing too much, and not doing it well. Hold this morning in your prayers. This is not an imposition from on high, but is something we can engage with to help us.
John Balchin celebrate 60 years of preaching this year! Have the benefit of hindsight of what has been happening:
Is there a biblical pattern for church growth?
Hardly any commands to evangelise – yes the Great Commission – which is all embracing and never been rescinded – but not much else – the apostles weren’t pushing the churches to share faith with their neighbours. The church was growing exponentially – they didn’t need to be told.
When you examine the letters the first Christians weren’t all evangelists – some had the gift of evangelism e.g. Philip and a more modern example is J. John. But not necessarily preaching evangelists, the God given ability to make the good news clear and to bring people to a conviction of faith – that is not everyone’s gift. Many books have been written saying that we should do this and that to lead people to faith.
What was happening in those days?
A stress on quality
A Couple of Riders
Many moons ago, in 2007, the church conducted a Mission Audit, after the Diocese asked churches to. Used a CPAS resource to process this. Not just experience but what you learned from it. Had a wealth of material come in, recorded it all, and John was down to do it all. Lots of statements of aspiration.
Wanted to reflect on this experience and reflect on how God has led us in the last 5 years. Giving you everything that came back, some of which we engaged with, and some of which we haven’t and have done other things. This is what we intended, what we thought the Lord was leading us to, so we can learn how the Lord leads churches in five year periods.
Encouraging at how much we have done, and the things we haven’t done still stand.
2.2.1 Fully Bible-based, Spirit-filled and Prayer-Supported
2.2.2 Active and in the heart of the community; visible – welcoming – serving
2.2.5 Can respond to and meet everyone’s respective spiritual needs
Street Pastors was a real highlight but not on the original form.
Feedback from other groups:
This list was a list of aspirations from home groups in one form or another. Hopefully you’ve seen how much we’ve done. Not intending to get another great big list, but your reflections on these areas as we looked at last time.
Got quite depressed as there is an expectation for more, possibility of discouragement and disappointment. When at Sarah’s licensing, Bishop Stephen Cottrell spoke on John 15:1-5 and living and abiding in the Vine (God) and God being the gardener cutting off the dead bits, and cutting back the fruitful bits. Something about priorities not a task list. There has to be a means of discerning priority and focus so we don’t simply follow our own particular enthusiasms which allows us to see and defer something bigger. There is something different between good ideas and what God calls us to do.