We have just celebrated the coming of God into His world through Jesus His son and now during January we celebrate His presence amongst us during the season of Epiphany. The most enigmatic of all church seasons, Epiphany contains some of the most powerful themes of the Christian year as we look at how the power of God's son Jesus was revealed to the world and to us. The great challenge of Epiphany for His church is to continue to show the revelation of God in our own lives and to the world. It is a good time therefore to look at our Mission Action Plan which we launched just over a year ago to see how we are doing.
A great success has been to see the facilities improvement at Wadworth completed which makes it easier to make everyone welcome within the church building. Likewise at St John's Balby, nearly all of the building repairs have been carried out successfully. January will see the launch of the welcome bag and the introduction of some quiet toys for children.
Another great success has been the opening of the "Cups & Cakes" coffee shop at Balby on a Tuesday morning. The vision was for those visiting the GPs and chemists to have somewhere to call before or after their appointments. No one came, so we made it free and handed out leaflets and we know have a group of people from the fringes of society.
The cafe is in some ways a tale of two parables:
1) In faith I believe we have planted a mustard seed, it has started growing but those we envisaged coming have not come, we have different people living in the branches of the mustard tree
2) In the parable of the rich mans banquet - his invited guests are too busy to come and make lame excuses not to attend so the rich man sends out his servants to get anyone from the streets to attend and they come. Those we initially invited did not respond, instead those from the streets have responded.
We all pray for this particular mustard seed to continue to grow.
A change in personal circumstances of those who were going to lead the activity day for the elderly that was planned meant that this part of the mission action plan did not happen.
We had a Messy Church tent at the Gala and the Garden Party but we still have some work to do to make Messy Church a regular event. We may need to consider alternatives.
Of course all the regular activities continued, with a very successful Lent project supporting Eden in Wheatley, shoe boxes for the Sea Farers, strong support for the Food Bank in Doncaster and when asked people have risen to the challenge of supporting Stepping Forward, an organisation talking homelessness in Doncaster.
We now need a time of consolidation, reflection and prayer before we look at what next? Are there any new ideas that need to be considered. Please talk to the PCC members and give your views.
Happy New Year