About eighteen months ago, the Ministry Team embarked on a programme of “Discipleship Conversations” with every member of the congregation who wanted one. Put simply, this was a chance to have a significant one-to-one conversation about life and the personal journey of faith, and an opportunity to explore the work of God in our lives. For people who took up the offer, they proved rewarding, life-enhancing and a chance to voice questions, doubts and thoughts that often went unspoken. One person said to one of us that it was the first significant conversation about faith they had had for fifty years.
The Ministry Team managed to offer such conversations to over half of St Mary’s congregation before, for various reasons, the work slowed down. We now wish to reboot the programme, beginning by offering the conversations to those who have not yet been approached.
No one need feel under any pressure to say yes to such an invite when it arrives. The conversations take place under ‘Chatham House Rules’, which mean that while the Ministry Team may share with one another things that might be discussed in general terms, they will not identify to each other the person who has said them. This means that they take place outside of the normal ‘shared confidentiality’ policy under which the Ministry Team works, and about which Simon writes in his article this month.
There is no doubt, however, that these conversations have proved important and valuable for those who have taken part. The Ministry Team have produced a helpful document introducing the conversations and some ‘starter questions’ to help you prepare for your meeting, which can take place in your home, a coffee shop, over lunch or wherever you prefer.
We hope you enjoy the gift of such a conversation when your turn comes.
St Mary’s Ministry Team