Diocesan Vision for Mission
Seven areas that overlap and not in order of priority:
Ecumenical cooperation in all areas in order that we can serve people and witness to the Father’s love for them. This is essential in the more rural areas where ecumenical approaches have to be developed if there is to be a sustainable Christian presence in each and every human community. This is crucially important; we have to be present everywhere. It is only from being present and in relationship with those around us that effective evangelism can happen.
Prayer and Worship
Worship that engages and inspires thus drawing people into a deeper relationship with God in prayer and self-offering. There has to be a deep commitment to releasing the power of the Word lived and proclaimed and to the sacraments as converting encounters with Jesus.
Baptised and Ordained Together
Ministry that is truly collaborative and values the gifts and charism of all the baptised. We must develop a way of approaching the life, work, worship and witness of each of our communities of faith that uses the gifts of all and encourages growth in prayer and devotion thus witnessing to the truth that we are all life-long learners – this is as true of our discipleship as it is of any other part of our lives. We have to become more attuned to the fact that it is the Church that calls to ministry – lay and ordained – and develop an attitude that takes seriously the need for increased vocations to a whole variety of ministries.
Mission and Evangelism
That we become a diocese that knows that its only reason to exist is to be the Body of Christ in this part of South Australia. We have to be a people that is not distracted by self-interest and the maintenance of structures but rather one that is seeking to be a serving, proclaiming, thankful and spirit filed community which stands consciously in receipt of the revealed tradition of Christianity and which humbly seeks to live and proclaim the love of the Triune God by being a sign, instrument and foretaste of his Kingdom for the world.
We have to be a community that is truly all age and this needs to be reflected in our worship, outreach and nurture. We should rejoice that God does not recognise chronological age but sees each and every person as one whom he loves unconditionally and calls to be the saint that he has made them to be. We need to be especially exercised by the need to engage with those currently noticeably absent from our assemblies; the young and the families. Working in support of all the schools in the diocese would be a good place to start. In particular we need to encourage more people to offer themselves as school chaplains.
Parishes and other pastoral units must work with ac.care, Anglicare and other agencies in the service of the poor and marginalised. We must seek to become a voice for the voiceless in our society; a people who are seeking to recover a prophetic ministry, addressing matters of justice, that are essential to our missionary task.
We must be a diocese that faces realistically the questions of financial viability at every level. However, the monetary question is not the only or even the most significant factor that needs to be considered about viability. Rather we need to address the question of what makes us vital and life-giving and how our common life can develop accordingly. We have to be clear that stipendiary ministerial provision has to be financed from regular planned giving and not subsidised by op-shops, fund raising and historical bequests. A diocese must not be distracted by financial problems but must have a clear vision for our common life that is consistent with our calling, transparent to all and compelling to the extent that we will all wish to fund it. We have to develop an approach to giving that defines what is sacrificial not by how much is given but rather by how much is left over having given; the only model and example is that of Our Lord.