Thursday, 20 April 2017

Video: sacrifices for my calling

Towards Ordained Ministry: Session Six

This post details my experience of Session Six of the Towards Ordained Ministry course. See my previous posts about session onetwofour and five to find out what the TOM course is.

Mission - Will you lead Christ’s people in proclaiming his glorious gospel, so that the good news of salvation may be heard in every place?

It was our final session, and although this was a great course, I was looking forward to having my Monday nights back! The odd thing about this last session was it was run by none other than Bishop Pete Broadbent! So having met the man for an all important interview the previous Wednesday, there he is again at the front of the lecture room. A bizarre amount of times to see a bishop in the space of a week, especially in the wake of my rector Lucy also doing a session! I half expected my DDO to walk through the door, to complete the set of priests involved in my discernment.

Pete was talking about mission. He said it was appropriate for a bishop, as "leading the church in mission" is one of the things for which we have bishops.

He started by describing the sort of context that we're working in for mission, which is one of non-traditional sacredness, "believing without belonging"; and also of course "more pluralist" within a diversity of faiths, especially in London. Our inheritance as future priests in the church is a trajectory of secular pluralism. At the local level, the common good can benefit from contributions from all faiths, but how it will go in the UK as a whole, what the future of the pluralism will look like, we can't know.

The rest of the session was based on Capital Vision 2020, which is the London Diocese's mission statement/strategy/idea/movement/premise...thing which is trying to innovate, create and support mission in the diocese but without reinventing the wheel so to speak.

A lot of my notes you can get from just browsing through the material available online about CV2020 itself, so here are few choice thoughts from +Pete as he went through.

  • He quipped that church planting was "not just HTB clones!"
  • He posed the question "are we a post-Christian society?" 
  • 'Growth' is not just numbers but the growth of individuals' discipleship, and community impact
  • The parochial system is odd but it still works; different in London of course
  • 'Church' = "baptism, Bible, Eucharist, prayer, fellowship" but community might not be called to be 'church'
  • London isn't very good at ecumenism
  • CofE isn't very good at lay ministries such as evangelism, healing and teaching
  • "The DNA of believing that God is going to make thing happen is crucial"
  • He posed the question "is 'mega-church' good for us and is it working?"

The previous sessions were:

Authority - Do you accept the discipline of this Church and give due respect to those in authority?
The Bible Do you accept the holy Scriptures as revealing all things necessary for eternal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ?
Doctrine - [I missed this one] Do you believe the doctrine of the Christian faith as the Church of England has received it, and in your ministry will you expound and teach it?
Ministry Will you be a faithful servant in the household of God, after the example of Christ, who came not to be served but to serve?
Spirituality Will you be diligent in prayer, in reading holy Scripture, and in all studies that will deepen your faith, and fit you to bear witness to the truth of the Gospel?