Some times matter more than others. Some times are significant in our lives, in our families, at work, in our country, in our city.

I wonder if next week will be such a time for us as a church. I wonder if next week will be such a time for us as churches across the city. I am thinking it will.

Over the last few years churches in the deanery have been journeying together and God has been giving us a clear commission to focus our attention on making and growing disciples across our city and to make changes to our church life that most help us to follow through on this. We are being challenged by the Spirit to reimagine ourselves as a Mission Agency sent into our city to preach Christ crucified, to proclaim Jesus as Lord and risen one, to announce the forgiveness of sins, to proclaim good news to the poor, to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to comfort all who mourn, and to provide for those who grieve, to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. Another way of putting this is ‘seeing hundreds becoming disciples and our whole city transformed by God’s loving rule’.

Having a clearer view of our shared calling we are beginning to pray into this more, to gather as leaders more, to share dreams and ideas and problems together more, and to hold each other more accountable, in the hope that over time we will see increased fruit from our efforts and the church grow to 4000 disciples by 2020.

This has been a significant time for us.

To help us in all this God has been providing for us people to help shape and influence our thinking and vision – David Lawrence, the Lead Academy team – and now Mark Greene and Neil Hudson.

Mark and Neil are a gift to God for us. They will help us as leaders to think through how to empower disciples for their frontline and help us develop a vision and a strategy for city-wide disciple making and growing.

And that’s why I believe next Wednesday afternoon will be a significant time for us as Anglican church leaders

We will be listening together, praying together, sharing together with others form our church leadership teams. We will also be joined by other Christian leaders from across the city, deepening relationships and unity among us. I am sure that God will use this time powerfully.

In the evening Mark and Neil will be speaking to our people, our church families, sharing with them the calling God has placed on their lives and inspiring them to a life of discipleship where every aspect of their life is involved – ‘Whole-Life Discipleship’.

I believe that this will be a significant time for us all.

For some of us this will be a completely new. And life transforming. For others it will be a reminder, a challenge, a nudge. For others it will be a moment of inspiration where they see their lives completely differently.

And then, lastly, on the Thursday morning we will gather together again as clergy from across the deanery to go deeper. This will be an important time when plans emerge, when questions are answered, when things begin to turn into action.

I believe that this will be a significant time for us as a Chapter.

We have been planning for this event for many months now and the time is drawing closer. I am sure that as we invest in these three sessions together God will do a significant thing among us and I so look forward to joining you in it all.

God is good
Richard