Vision and Mission – Flourishing By Grace
We are working to fashion a comprehensive expression of Anglicanism develop within the Diocese. We wish to see everyone flourish by the grace made known to us by God through Jesus Christ. This will be expressed through
- Focussing our resolve
- Committed to healthy ministry
- As a safe church
- Encouraging inclusion
- Using our resources well
- Engaging in 21st Century mission
Our hope and prayer is that the Anglican Church is seen to be making a valuable contribution to the region and people we serve. We are rebuilding community trust so that Anglican Churches are known for helping people seeking to deepen their faith and find blessing in their lives.
We desire deeply that everyone is safe within the community and within the church. We lament the harm that children experienced within the life of the Diocese and our failure to respond when they came forward to speak of their experience.
Our work and spiritual life is fashioned by an ever-deepening relationship with God: the Holy Trinity. Being made in the image of God we flourish in relationships of love. We find our fulfilment in community flowing from the Community of God.
The Diocese acknowledges the traditional custodianship of the First Nations of the land on which the Diocese ministers – the Awabakal, Biripi, Darkinjung, Geawegal, Kamilaroi, Worimi, Garrigal and Wonnarua peoples.
The Diocesan Synod in 2019 voted to affirm the blessing of same-sex relationships in a 60:40 vote. This has not come into effect as it is a matter before the Appellate Tribunal of the Anglican Church of Australia.
The Diocese affirms the sacramental and preaching ministry of women and men; rejoicing that women and men are called by God to ministry as laity, deacons, priests and bishops.
2020 PLANS - GOOD NEWS TO PROCLAIM (Part of being committed to a healthy ministry)
Lets make plans for 2020
Bishop Peter said recently, “I wonder if in 2020 we can become story tellers of our faith who are excited about inviting other people into Jesus’ way of love. Jesus transformed the cosmos and invites all people to abundant life. We are the best people to speak of God’s love because we have experienced it! It would be wonderful if every parish was helping people share their faith in 2020.”
Plan the year –
26 February to 12 April – Lenten Study groups
19 April to 31 May – Study groups from Easter to Pentecost focused on telling our faith stories
31 May – Commissioning God’s people as story tellers of their faith on Pentecost Sunday
3 study groups where new people could join from Pentecost to Christmas which will be run to encourage regular church members and newcomers.
Revitalise our faith by joining in the 2020 Diocesan Lenten Study – Flourishing By Grace: Lessons from the Life of the Early Church
The Diocesan Ministry Council has been coordinating writers from across the Diocese to present a ‘homegrown’ Lenten Study for 2020.
This study will enable people across the Diocese to reflect on their faith drawing on the riches of the New Testament and the experience of the first Christians. It is suitable for individual and group study.
The PDF resource will be available to download for free at the beginning of February 2020.
Be refreshed in the ministry of telling the story of your faith
From Easter to Pentecost it would be wonderful if parishes held study groups using the Church Army Resource called Faith Pictures.
Faith pictures is a short course designed to help Christians talk naturally to friends, neighbours and colleagues about what they believe.
The heart of the course is about helping people to identify a single picture or image that embodies something of their faith. This is because the kinds of communication which best stick in the mind are concrete and rooted in story. The course is light-hearted, without jargon or inflexible methods. It affirms the importance of honesty and listening.
The course is available for free but leaders must register to access the resources.
Pentecost Sunday 31 May
At every service on Pentecost Sunday let’s affirm the story of our faith – celebrating the good news of all that God has done for people through the ages, in our communities and for us. Let’s commission the people of of God to be storytellers of their faith.
Run study groups, growth groups, cell groups or encouragement groups
If these are new for you imagine running 3 six weeks groups between Pentecost and Easter.
Each group should make time for some refreshments. Hospitality is a great blessing.
Each group should access a resource to study such as the Pilgrim Course.
If someone has responded to you telling the story of your faith, invite them to join you at a group.
Review 2020 and plan for 2021 in a similar way
2020 PLANS - ENGAGE IN RECONCILIATION (Part of encouraging inclusion)
The Synod adopted the Statement from the Heart and encouraged parishes to reflect on it.
The Anglican Board of Mission has created a useful study resource.
The Diocese is developing a set of resources to help parishes engage in reconciliation.
Introduce an acknowledgement of country and arrange for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island flags to be flown in parish churches.
Plan some to engage with your local aboriginal nation.
Listen deeply and carefully.
Reflect on some significant moments for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Sunday services
Sunday 10 May – Remember Magistrate Denny Day and talk about the Myall Creek Massacre
Sunday 5 July – Join in NAIDOC week events (today and during the following week)
Sunday 22 November – Remember James and Angelina Noble
Review 2020 and plan for 2021 in a similar way
STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS AND WORK PLAN DOCUMENTS
Download the Strategic Directions and Work Plan 2018 – 2021
- Governing culture: practical considerations for the board and its committees
- Download the Regional Meetings presentation here