01 Feb VICARS’ BLOG – February 2021 – Finding our Frontlines and Everyday faith
The daffodils are poking through the grass in my garden. It is a sign that spring is coming. That is an encouragement. How would we have reacted if someone had told us last February that there would be at least a semi-lockdown for the next 12 months due to a global pandemic. And yet, we have faced each sixweek block one at a time. Human nature is remarkable in that we can cope with adverse circumstances if we tackle them one piece at a time! Here are some things that have helped us in the last year. We have learned gratitude, to find something to be thankful to God for every day. We have remembered those things that do not change – the faithfulness and love of God, the salvation of Jesus and the presence of the Holy Spirit. We have made the most of the people and things who matter to us and ben kind to strangers. Well done everyone, we have done well and are continuing to do well. We are not giving up now! Loveday Alexander says, “I do not like the word resilient, I like the word courageous”. We should be courageous Christians.
All these things make up what we call “Everyday faith”. Nothing spectacular, in fact quite ordinary and yet the daily spiritual food that we take sustains us one day at a time. Discipleship is about following and learning. Jesus chose twelve disciples and asked them to follow him. They did. It didn’t happen by accident. They chose to follow Jesus. Philip told Nathanael to “Come and see” Jesus, and he did. We are still invited to do the same thing. “Come and see” Jesus. We can also invite other people to come and see for themselves. How intentional are we about being disciples, followers, learners, people growing in faith? What we do everyday matters to God.
In the Fruitfulness on the Frontline Course, we are learning how God, who made the universe, invites us to see our work as art of his bigger plans for the world. His gives us a new purpose and meaning in all the tasks we do and conversations we have each week. The 6 M’s are a broad framework to help us to live our lives giving glory to God and being fruitful. Model Godly Character, Make Good Work, Minister Grace and Love, Mould Culture, be a Mouthpiece for Truth and Justice, Messenger for the Gospel. You may recall the Anglican Communion’s Five marks of mission which are equally broad and rich.
THE FIVE MARKS OF MISSION:
The mission of the church is the mission of Christ.
1. To proclaim the good news of the kingdom
2. To teach, baptise and nurture new believers.
3. To respond to human need by loving service.
4. To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation.
5. To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
How are you doing at identifying your Frontlines? If our Frontline is a place where we often meet people who do not know Jesus, vicars have more of a problem identifying our frontlines. We have listed a few things, a variety of conversations, thoughts, projects, tasks, and activities which make up our week and wondering which constitute our frontlines.
Every morning starts with reading the Bible and praying. Every day ends with prayer and sleep! Make coffee. Prepare mid-week study for Fruitfulness on the Frontline. Make a tree with fruits of the spirit on for the All-Age service on modelling godly character on Sunday. Happily, use the same tree for the recorded assembly for Ashley school on good trees and bad trees. Take a phone call from someone happy to receive a pot of daffodils from the Connections team. Plan the Alpha session for Tuesday night. Talk to Sally about the news for the weekly email. Enjoy listening to today’s reflection on YouTube from 1 Corinthians. Have an animated conversation with a bereaved family planning a funeral. Excited to hear from Vlada about his sermon for 14th February on being a Mouthpiece for truth and justice. Check into a Zoom breakfast meeting with some of the other church leaders in Walton. Talk to Alex and Walton charity and broker a great deal to provide computers for local school children. Hear from a young person about how great the Monday night youth session was on freedom in Christ. Get inspired by Katharine and Clare’s plan for the All-Age services for the next two Sundays. Walk round the block. Make coffee. Record a daily reflection for next week on 1 Corinthians. Meet staff for lunch by zoom. They can’t come to the vicarage for actual lunch, but still, plenty of laughter. Talk to Caroline about Toddlers’ Praise by Zoom. Appreciate the artwork on a hand drawn picture from a child which drops through the letterbox. Record the Service for Sunday. Drop off the first session goody bags for the people doing Growing Leaders course. Look ahead to Ash Wednesday on 17th February and ponder the challenge of doing the imposition of ashes online! Look at some Lent books. Write Vicar’s message for February newsletter.