Priorities and Mission

Our Calling

The calling of the Methodist Church is to respond to the gospel of God’s love in Christ and to live out its discipleship in worship and mission.

The Church exists to:

·       Increase the awareness of God’s presence and celebrate God’s love (Worship)

·      Help people to grow and learn as Christians, through mutual support and care (Learning and Caring)

·       Be a good neighbour to people in need and to challenge injustice (Service)

·       Make more followers of Jesus Christ (Evangelism)

The Priorities of the Methodist Church

In partnership with others wherever possible, the Methodist Church will concentrate its prayers, resources, imagination and commitments on this priority:

To proclaim and affirm its conviction of God’s love in Christ, for us and for all the world; and renew confidence in God’s presence and action in the world and in the church.

As ways towards realising this priority, the Nene Valley Circuit will give particular attention to:

·           underpinning everything we do with God-centred worship and prayer

·           supporting community development and action for justice, especially among the most deprived and poor – in Britain and worldwide

·           developing confidence in evangelism and in the capacity to speak of God and faith in ways that make sense to all involved

·           encouraging fresh ways of being church

·           nurturing a culture in the Church which is people-centred and flexible

 

 

The Nene Valley Circuit's MANIFESTO 2020

On October 3rd 2017 the Nene Valley Circuit Meeting adopted :

MANIFESTO 2020

This Manifesto sets out proposed steps to be adopted between October 2017 and August 2020 to help the Circuit pursue its mission more effectively.

Our mission statement, based on the Five Marks of Mission, is

               Fed by worship, led by His Word, we will

Broadcast the Good News of Jesus Christ

Teach and nurture lifelong growth in Christian faith and works

Share His love for all

Pursue peace and justice

Protect the life of God’s planet.

The following pages look at each of these in detail. Item 3.2 will require considerable financial input, but the other proposals ask us all to look for fresh commitments if we are to see growth in the spiritual life of this area.

Progress on these proposals will be assessed at each Church Council and Circuit Meeting. We will also be able to tell if growth is occurring by comparing our ‘Statistics for Mission’ figures each October.                         

 A new Manifesto will be worked on before Summer 2020.

20/20 vision is good, but Jesus Christ’s vision is the best.

 

Fed by Worship; led by His Word

2.1   Each Church Council and Circuit Meeting agenda will include time to consider how our worship could develop. What can we do to better meet the many varied needs of our potential worshippers?

2.2    Service sheets are encouraged to enable worship to be more collective.

2.3   Church stewards, worship leaders and preachers asked to work on ideas for the three minutes before worship begins – a ‘prologue’ time leading the congregation into ‘worship readiness’. This could be by using projected images and words, or some other form of visible spur that we are here to meet God in worship.

2.4   Personal study, bible study and house group meetings to be given high profile and encouragement, with times and places as appropriate.    (See 4.3 and 4.4)

Questions for Reflection

What helps us to express awe and wonder, thankfulness and praise, and love towards God?

What would help our worship to make sense to people who come only occasionally?

Does our worship enable us: to know God’s presence; to receive God’s message?

What motivates us to study the Bible?

What are our plans and targets for improving our worship over the next year?

 

Broadcasting the Good News of Jesus Christ

3.1   Individuals and churches will accept the challenge of spreading, by word and action, the good news of Christ. Help, encouragement and support will be devised.

3.2   Employ a Youth and Family Worker to lead and advise on work with young people and to make contact with young families and people moving into new housing. Employment could possibly start in Spring 2018, initially for two years minimum.   Cost £26000 pa from Circuit Advance Fund with grant assistance from the District Advance Fund.

3.3   95% of young people and children have no church connection and little knowledge of Christianity. We continue to support the contribution that our workers give to schools through assemblies, lessons, and support for young people.

3.4   Investigate the possibility of a Circuit Drama Group.

3.5   Form a Circuit Graphics Group to produce Christian messages to catch the eyes of our neighbours, whether original designs or from other Christian sources. Car stickers, posters, aprons, banners, carrier bags etc.

Questions for reflection

Do we have a clear message? Are the words we use straightforward and meaningful to those outside the Church?

What attracts others to the Christian faith?

 Are there initiatives we could take to present our convictions? Can we do this with Christians of other denominations?

Where should the focus be - on church premises, or in the community?                                                          

What are our plans and targets for making more followers of Jesus Christ over the next year?

 

Lifelong Growth in Christian faith and works

4.1   A new Christian, like an apprentice, has to learn and hone new skills. Experienced Christians give crucial support in the development of this ‘apprentice’. Task one or two people to research good practice in ‘growing’ both the faith and the Christian activity of new members. This will provide a pool of advice on how to give careful appropriate support. We all began as novices; the Membership Class is certainly not the end of learning to be a Christian.                                                

4.2   Our young people See 3.2   for worker with young people

4.3   At the Annual Covenant Service, each individual is encouraged to make a commitment to growth and understanding, and to seek out others to walk alongside them.

4.4   Regular study meetings to be encouraged and supported, with times, places and content as appropriate – perhaps inter-church - using study guides from many sources, (old, new, for various target groups, varied topics). A list of group leaders’ contact details will enable sharing of ideas, comments and experience, enabling choice of studies to suit each group. Leaders are important and will be supported.                                                                                            

4.5   Staying the same is not growth. We must each be ready for a new challenge or different bit of work. After 3, 4 or 5 years in a role, we need to look for someone else to fill this role, with help as needed.  We are trainers as well as learners.

Questions for Reflection

How effective are our small groups in linking faith to everyday life?

What scope might there be for new groups to form?

What are our plans and targets for developing our life together over the next year?

 

Sharing His love for all

5.1   Continue Safeguarding procedures, with training as needed. Ensure premises, furniture and equipment are suitable for the activities we offer to people, young or old.

5.2   Pastoral visitors to have higher profile, support, recognition and training.

5.3   Continue to work with the very young and the elderly.

5.4   Develop inclusive and supportive activities, including accessible worship, to reach carers and those for whom they care.

5.5   Continue to contribute, ecumenically where possible, to activities which help our communities.

5.6   Be good neighbours.

Questions for Reflection

Are we making the best use of our premises and our money for service to the community?

Who is involved in service to the community through charities or community groups?

Are there opportunities for more of us to become involved?

How do we give attention to the moral issues raised by daily work?

How do the prayers of our church feature the life of the community?

What are our plans and targets for improving our community involvement over the next year?

 

Pursuing peace and justice

6.1   A Circuit Public Issues Group to be formed.

6.2   Using the Joint Public Issues Team* (JPIT)* as a model for its concerns, it will decide which key topic(s) to pursue.

6.3   JPIT news could be printed for members to see and the JPIT website publicised.

6.4   Raise awareness of and encourage support for ecumenical and other social action groups, such as Church Action on Poverty, Christian Aid, Housing Justice, Methodist Tax Justice Network, etc.

6.5   At least one Circuit event or service each year with emphasis on our role as peacemakers and justice seekers.

6.6   Encourage churches to become ‘Fair Trade Churches’.

6.7   Suggest possible ideas to the Graphics Group (3.5)

6.8   Submit material to the Circuit Newsletter and website.

 

Questions for Reflection

Do we share with one another our concerns about things which do not seem right, or cause trouble in our community, or appear unjust?

How do we challenge injustice in other parts of the world?

Do we challenge the causes of injustice as well as responding to the effects?

As God’s salt, if we lose our saltiness, what use are we?

*JPIT combines the expertise of the Baptist, Church of Scotland, Methodist and United Reform Churches in the area of public issues. www.jintpublicissues.org.uk

 

Protect the Life of God’s Planet

7.1   A Circuit eco group to be formed to focus our attention on eco concerns.

7.2   The eco leaders to work with churches to encourage recycling, and to suggest ways to use water and energy economically.

7.3   Encourage churches to become *eco-churches.

7.4   Encourage awareness of organisations like **Operation Noah and their websites and publications.

7.5   At least one Circuit event or service each year with emphasis on our need to protect God’s planet.

7.6   Suggest possible ideas to the Graphics Group (3.5).

7.7   Submit material to the Circuit Newsletter and website.

Questions for Reflection

Are we wasting resources?

Are we spending our time and resources in ways which are consistent with our beliefs and values?

So heavenly minded – but no earthly use!!??

*See ECO CHURCH on ecochurch.arocha.org.uk

** Operation Noah   Faith-motivated. Science-informed. Hope-inspired.   www.operationnoah.org


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