The word mission is sometimes a difficult one to understand in the context of church life. It perhaps conjures up images of Tom Cruise dangling off some huge building getting ready to perform some remarkable feat.
The mission the church has been given is certainly not easy, but it is not mission impossible either! As a church we believe that we are called by God to join in with what he is doing in his world. The root of the word mission comes from the word ‘sent’ and this is at the heart of what mission is all about. Jesus Christ sends his church to go
into the world and to reach out with his love for each and every person. Mission is partnership with God in what he is doing in the world and it is a privilege of the church to be called to that partnership.
Some time ago the Anglican Communion (the worldwide Anglican Church) set about clarifying more specifically what we mean when we talk about mission. The Church helpfully agreed ‘five marks of mission’ which helps us to understand what we are called to as a parish. The ‘five marks’ are:
- To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
- To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
- To respond to human need by loving service
- To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
- To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth
These ‘marks of mission’ help us as a church to prioritise what we believe we are called to do in sharing in God’s mission. Part of our task as a church is to decide which areas of mission we are called to focus on in this chapter of our life together. The PCC (Leadership of the Church) has over the last few months been drawing up a Mission Action Plan which seeks to prioritise which areas of mission we will focus on as a community over the next five years or so.
The Mission Action Plan will reflect what we believe God is asking us to do in this parish, however our mission does not stop within our parish boundaries. We are also called to partner in mission with others who are reaching out with God’s love around his world. Our Mission Partners page gives details of the various mission organisations that we partner with in prayer and giving finance to support their work.