Welcome to a Special Edition of St Mary’s e-newsletter. We’re publishing an extra edition this month to introduce to the readership the major project that is Mission Action Planning.
Between now and the Annual Meeting next April, we’re involving the whole church in seeking an agenda – God’s agenda, we pray – for our life together as a parish. This involves everything that makes St Mary’s the church it is: our worship, our discipleship, our mission to the parish and, ultimately, our vision.
We’re doing this through a process called Mission Action Planning, which sounds a bit ‘corporate-speak’ but is really simply a tried-and-tested tool used by churches around the country for putting some flesh on the bones of what matters to us at St Mary’s. A Mission Action Plan will express the ‘DNA’ of St Mary’s and give us some clear things to work on in terms of how we go about the work of the Kingdom of God in our church and community.
The process is quite simple.
- First, we collect information about St Mary’s church and its community. This stage has been completed and you can find out more in the article entitled ‘A snapshot of St Mary’s Church & Parish in 2014’ in this newsletter. Have a read – it’s fascinating information
- Then, we ask ourselves what this all means. At the end of the ‘Snapshot’ article are a list of statements about St Mary’s deduced from this data and questions that arise from it. They are to help us get thinking about the big questions facing us. You are welcome to engage as well – they are really good starter questions.
- Third, we then ‘brainstorm’ what we should do about this. We’ve got a strong team of trainee clergy from the South East Institute for Theological Education with us to help in this bit. The article ‘Mission Action Planning: Meet the SEITE Team’ tells you about them and about the way they are going to help us all to be involved in the brainstorming. This is the bit where you can have your say.
- Then, after Christmas, the PCC will meet to decide how to set some priorities and direction in all of this brainstorming and information.
- Finally, a Mission Action Plan will be published which will set some priorities for the next five years at St Mary’s together with a restatement of our church’s vision, it’s DNA.
This is a very exciting project and we hope you will all want to be part of it. You can do so in using the newer technologies or through the older ways of communicating. We are a diverse church who like to communicate in different ways.
We hope you enjoy reading this short newsletter.