Vicars’ Blog – February 2019 – Refresh & Renew

Vision – refresh and renew

It is 13 months since we launched our Church Vision. I wonder if you can recall it without looking or quote the Bible passage we have at the top on the banner and the bookmarks?

It’s time to ask whether the Vision has made any difference to us as a church, as well as in our lives as individuals. Refresh and renew is what God does with the plants in spring time. After a winter of storing up goodness, it’s time to burst into leaf once more. Our Vision is about growth. As Christians we ask God to help us to keep growing closer to him otherwise, you know what happens, we get stale and stagnant in our faith and probably more grumpy in our lives! So, let’s refresh our interest in this Vision.

 

Why do we need a Vision?

It helps us to pull together as a church, gives us motivation to encourage one another to keep growing and inspires us to do new things to help other people in our community with joy. It also reminds us that we are part of something bigger. Church is not just about coming to worship on a Sunday, but about being a part of what God is doing all over the world in growing his kingdom.

 

This month the PCC will be considering the 5 Vision Priorities (CDP) we set last year and reflecting on the journey we have made. We will then decide which to keep and which to renew for 2019. One Priority was “Welcome unreservedly” which has led us to really think about how we welcome people and we have launched a Welcome Team in all our services. “Give generously” has led to a Stewardship campaign and we hope that the initial response of pledges of increased giving will follow through in the year ahead. (Our recommendation is still to bring to God 5-6% of our income, which is well short of the Biblical guideline of 10%). There will be full reports on the year’s activities from all the PCC working groups ahead of the APCM in January. Do email vicar@waltonparish.org.uk to share your views on what the Priorities should be for the year ahead.

 

Victoria’s story

Victoria is a hairdresser, who has heard the message of Life on the Frontline. She now goes about her job with a different attitude. “I pray for my customers silently as I massage in the conditioner”, she says. Victoria’s praying is her invisible gift to her clients – soothing conditioner for the soul, not just the hair. She believes that her daily work is important to God. You can read Victoria’s Story in ‘The one about…’ A beautifully illustrated collection of 8 stories by Mark Greene about God working through his people in their everyday lives. It is one of the books that Alex reviewed for us this month, his review can be found on the website in the new ‘Book Corner’. There’s also a little animation you can watch here. As our church continues through the Life on the Frontline series, hopefully we can all identify our Frontline and understand how our daily lives are important to God. Mark Green says, “Your Frontline is the place where you spend the majority of your time outside the church, where you are in contact with non-Christians, where you are with people who need to know the love of God.” If you have missed some sermons or want to listen again, go to the website, you’ll find a link on the front page about half way down the page. If the internet isn’t accessible let us know and we’ll see what we do to help you listen again.

 

We hope that you feel equipped for your daily life through being part of this church, St Mary’s and St John’s. We hope that we can all encourage each other this spring to be refreshed and renewed in our faith and in our Vision. February is a good time for all of us to use the Vision Devotional booklet. Enjoy!

 Jonny and Cathy