Yesterday, the morning and evening congregations worked on our missional goals, based on some work done over the past few months by leaders of groups in the congregation, and based on our draft vision statement:
Living the mission of God as disciples of Jesus united in the Spirit
We’ve spelled things out a bit more in an expansion of the vision statement:
Living the mission of God…
God is a missionary God, and invites us to join in the mission. Mission is part of God’s heart; the Father sends the Son into the world, and gives the Spirit as the ongoing presence of Christ. The Basis of Union says (para. 3):
The Church as the fellowship of the Holy Spirit confesses Jesus as Lord over its own life; it also confesses that Jesus is Head over all things, the beginning of a new creation, of a new humanity. God in Christ has given to all people in the Church the Holy Spirit as a pledge and foretaste of that coming reconciliation and renewal which is the end in view for the whole creation. The Churchʼs call is to serve that end: to be a fellowship of reconciliation, a body within which the diverse gifts of its members are used for the building up of the whole, an instrument through which Christ may work and bear witness to himself.
The love, compassion, justice of God fill us with hope for the mission. We are to live this out; just as mission is deep in the heart of God, so it is to live deep in our hearts also. As the Church, we are called to be a place where God’s will is done ‘on earth as in heaven’, and to invite others into this relationship with God, a relationship which brings us eternal life.
…as disciples of Jesus…
Jesus Christ provides the pattern and the way for us to do the will of God. Jesus rescues us from our slavery to sin, and shows us what true humanity looks like.
As disciples of Jesus, we engage in spiritual practices such as worship, receiving the sacraments of the Church, reading the scriptures, prayer and contemplation, forgiving others and simplicity of life.
In the congregation, the Becoming Disciples process gives us a framework for walking with people in their journey of discipleship, from seeking Jesus, to wanting to know more, to a commitment of faith expressed in baptism or conﬁrmation and the ongoing life of a disciple.
Our discipleship extends to the whole of life; Jesus leads us daily in home and family life, at work and leisure.
…united in the Spirit
We are in the Spirit; the Spirit is the air we breathe. As we grow in faith and engage in spiritual practices, the Spirit produces fruit in us, the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. The Spirit gives gifts to God’s people as parts of the body of Christ. Every person is essential; everyone has a unique purpose, to be directed towards the mission of God.
The Spirit keeps us united on the way forward together. As the Basis of Union says (para. 18),
The Uniting Church afﬁrms that it belongs to the people of God on the way to the promised end. The Uniting Church prays that, through the gift of the Spirit, God will constantly correct that which is erroneous in its life, will bring it into deeper unity with other Churches, and will use its worship, witness and service to God’s eternal glory through Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen.