Tuesday, 3 May 2016

From the vicar - May 2016

‘Thinking outside the box’, ‘blue sky thinking’, ‘straplines’, ‘vision statements’ are all expressions used in today’s business world. They conjures up an image of high fliers seeking to bring about new ways to energise a business.

Businesses have been doing similar things for decades, some of the expressions may be new but the need for renewed vision remains the same. Vision is essential and it is something that is steeped in scripture. God spoke to many people through visions, very often calling them to a complete change of direction and to seek the Lord’s will.

Where there is no vision the people perish Proverbs 29:18

The vision is yet for the appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and will not lie. If it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come. Habakkuk 2:3

2020 Vision came about as a result of the Church in Wales review of 2012. It challenges the Church to become a Church for the twenty first century. In 2020 the Church in Wales will mark the hundredth anniversary of disestablishment from the Church of England. One of the initiatives of 2020 Vision is that all of the present Deaneries in the Diocese of St Asaph will cease to exist and become Mission Areas by the end of 2016. It is not simply a change of name, it encourages us all to prayerfully seek what it means to be the Church today.

On 16th April Denbigh Deanery held a Vision Meeting in St Mary’s Denbigh to consider how our Mission Area may look. The Area Dean, Colin Mansley, challenged us to do some ‘blue sky thinking’ for the future of the Church in this area. It was an informative and positive meeting. The new Mission Area will still consist of the same Parishes as the present Deanery but with a greater emphasis on mission and working together, sharing our gifts and talents, resourcing and supporting one another.

In many ways this has already begun taking place as we have begun to look wider than our own parish and with a greater emphasis on lay ministry. Our Grouped Parishes have all enjoyed getting to know one another and sharing in innovative styles of Worship such as TaizĂ©.  The Mission Area will encourage us to look even wider and to seek to support and encourage one another across the whole Mission Area.

As part of the discussions we were asked to consider the Five Marks of Mission, which briefly break down to five words beginning with the letter T: Tell, Teach, Tend, Transform and Treasure.  Tell - to proclaim the Gospel, Teach - to teach the faith, Tend – to care for others, Transform - to seek justice, and Treasure - to care for our environment.

We were asked to think of things we did in each of our parishes that bore the five marks of mission. There were many things already taking place but also things that we could grow and develop. There is much still to do but we have made a good start and the Mission Area will evolve as we seek to live out the Five Marks of Mission. No date has been set for the official commissioning of the Denbigh Mission Area but a service will be held and it is hoped that as many people as possible will attend.

The Parishes in our Mission Area are:
Llanrhaeadr, Nantglyn, Llandyrnog and Llangwyfan
St Mary’s & St Marcella Denbigh, Henllan, Llannefydd and Bylchau
Caerwys and Bodfari
Trefnant, Tremeirchion, Cefn and Sinan

A Mission Statement for our Mission Area is still being formulated but there is none better than the commandment Jesus gave:

Jesus said:  “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  John 13:34-35

With every blessing
Val Rowlands