Winchester Diocesan Synod Conference 2013 – Session 1

Diocese of Winchester

This is a live blog – apologies for any spelling mistakes and/or typos

Welcome from Archbishop Justin Welby

Very exciting to hear all the things in the diocese, and to hear it sharpening it’s focus on the mission.  Look forward to learning from you as you go forward in this.

  • Living radically in the world: not cutting ourself off, living in our own holy huddle.  The work of the Street Pastors in Southampton is a classic example of being a mission shaped diocese.  When we are utterly engaged in the life around us we are most likely to find ourselves serving the cause of Jesus.  Discard ruthlessly those things that make us inward looking.
  • Being an incredibly thoughtful group of Christians: being in the world involves looking critically at the baggage we bring, and the baggage the world brings and not tripping ourselves up over it.
  • Rooted in Jesus: a commitment to common and individual prayer, with an every increasing love for Jesus.

Serve through making people jealous by having fun and showing what God is

Winchester has an incredible link of overseas, so it is not the Winchester church, or the English church, but the global church, be conscious of this.  Share in the joys and the sorrows of the Church of England.

Don’t take anything too serious apart from worship, everything else is pretty humorous, especially ourselves, let’s go away caught up not on where we are but on where we could be.

Bishop Tim – Missionary God; Missional Church

We have the enormous privilege of becoming like God through participating in His mission.  Becoming a mission shaped diocese will take us to the very depths of who we are and what we can become.  The Analogy of God’s Mission: Becoming a Mission-Shaped Diocese.

Contexts and Constants

Everyone says this about their times, these are amazing changes, Phyllis Tickle says we are in the change that happens once every 500 years and so we are in this change, globally, at the moment.

The Acts of God challenge us to have a growth in confidence as we see God is in mission.  We have seen a change in facts and values; where is the relationship between morality and facts.  God is excluded from so much, and yet many would say you can see .  We are back, and religion has to be taken into account – the comeback kid against secularist theory.

Mission shaped-church means we have to understand our culture better and learn how to communicate better.  We are in a cross-cultural mission within our own culture which is the first time ever, especially for Westerners.

We are in the process of change-making – we have a generational opportunity that we haven’t seen for many decades, could look at change for the generations behind us.  That means reflecting on our governance, management and strategy.

There are some constants (A. Walls): Jesus – constant maong us; connected to Israel – very important for us to remember that the history of Israel, and the Old Testament is important ofr us to reflect on; part of the global community as the church; scripture and sacraments.

Mission-Shaped Diocese

God in society, not only in just and/or personal faith but for Christianity to be in the marketplace as change makers.  We are not alone, the new Chief Rabbi has spoken on “transform communities” and “grow”.

Built into the role description of all news bishops as the Five Marks of Mission and the Three Quinquennium Goals.  The Church is committed to this agenda, as is Bishop Tim:

  • Passionate personal spirituality
  • Pioneering faith communities
  • Prophetic global citizens

We are called to be like God, through His mission.

We need to be more self-conscious of what our diocese is like to belong to, what is our strategy, where are we going, how are we structuring ourselves os we can be the people we are.

Filled with the Fullness of God

Using Ephesians 3:14-21 as a prayer for the Conference.  If we understand the fullness of God we will naturally walk in the path of mission.  Paul’s prayer is like Jesus’ prayer in John 17 – to fill and to fulfill is a strong missional theme.  God fills and fulfills and does it again and again, overcoming anything and everything through his love.

Been on holiday to Africa – reminds hims of the vitality of life.  God’s love is simply overflowing.  Vital for us if we are to understand God as father of all – sharing God’s life with all.  Vital for us if we are to understand God as father of all – sharing God’s life with all.

God can and does act – versus a practical atheism.  God acts through Christ by the Spirit – that Triune understanding is imperative.

God acts with us personally, corporately, and globally.

Deep, Wide, Long, High: Sharing the love of God

  • Deep with Jesus and his mission.  Bishop Tom will lead us in reflections on how we can go deep with Jesus if we are willing.
  • Wide: personal, corporate and public – the calling that we have because of the love of God
  • Long: strategic and well resourced for the long run
  • High: Spirit of the Ascended Lord – giving himself in all that he is by his Spirit to us.

To do this takes risks, uncomfortable, and challenging.

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