Nigel’s Letter Summer 2018
“…..I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions and your old men shall dream dreams.” (Acts 2:17)
There is much talk at the present time within the life of the URC the Synod and local churches of mission and vision.
We are at a threshold moment in the life of the Synod as we signal the beginning of Missional Partnerships that will hopefully define and encourage mission in our local context. So what is mission? Here is one definition:
“Mission is the fundamental reality of our Christian life. We are Christians because we have been called by God to work with him in the fulfilment of his purposes for humanity as a whole. To clarify the nature of mission is to answer the question, what is the church for? It is a community bearing witness to God’s activity in the world by its communication of the good news of Jesus Christ in word and deed.” (J Andrew Kirk)
How we fulfil our mission is a question as old as the church itself. But what is exciting about this journey at the present time in our denomination is that it gives purpose and focus to the name of the church. We are the United Reformed Church – reformed and continually reforming. Praying for and responding to the guidance of the Holy Spirit; always seeking new ways to share the Good News of the gospel.
At this season of Pentecost we pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to lead us in new ways, strengthening and supporting our missional opportunities through the formation of missional partnerships and blessing and strengthening our local churches in their mission to the communities in which they are set. May we know the blessing of Christ as we prayerfully take the next step on our missional journeys.
Please continue to hold in prayer the work of the churches at Radcliffe, Stand and Farnworth and the thirteen churches of our Missional Partnership.
There has been a considerable amount of work being undertaken by Caroline Platt (Community Development Worker) and the Steering Group. Relationships are being built and enquiries followed up regarding the use of the Radcliffe and Stand buildings. This creates missional opportunities as those relationships grow and develop and we begin to share life together.
We are moving towards completing the sale of Farnworth URC and beginning a relationship with a partner to develop community space in the church building. This relationship will be crucial to the future mission of the church and how it develops. We pray for God’s guidance in new partnerships. At Stand we certainly know what it feels like to be vulnerable. Our plans and how we move forward require daily reliance upon God and his guiding of us, as we seek to be a faithful, welcoming, healing and loving place in the Chapelfield community. We pray for the presence of the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us.
May we know the peace of Christ in our hearts at this season of Pentecost. May we know the power of the Holy Spirit at work in our churches. May that same Spirit give us strength and hope as we continue to step out in faith for the sake of the Good News of the gospel.