On Saturday evening we will enjoy a parish dinner at St. Aidan’s. There will be GREAT food and we will be entertained with wonderful Scottish Dancing. It is a time that we might be together and enjoy being community outside of Sunday Morning worship.
It is also one of our first opportunities to play host to our friends at the Church of the Hosannas. As many of you know we have extended an invitation to be in conversation with our neighbours in the Northwest part of the city. Hosannas has been having conversations about their future and recently passed a motion that they wanted to explore what it might be like to come as a community and experience life at St. Aidan’s parish with a view to discern if it could become their spiritual home. The Wardens at both parishes have met and have discussed events that we might share together over the fall in into Christmas to give us opportunity to get to know one another better. We have jokingly suggested that we are in a ‘dating phase.’
On Saturday 20 people from Hosannas will be with us and we will have opportunity to get to know one another better. I would encourage our folks from St. Aidan’s to please be sure to extend a wonderful welcome to our sisters and brothers who are coming to enjoy time with us. We will also have opportunity to join with the folks at the church of the Hosannas on the first Sunday of Advent, December 02. We have planned an Iona Evening Prayer followed by a Potluck Chili supper. Please mark the date on your calendar and plan to join us.
These are challenging and changing times in the Anglican Church. These are times that call us to be aware of what is happening with our brothers and sisters and to find creative and caring ways to respond to it. These are times that we can be certain that we can be a stronger representation of the Body of Christ by coming together with others and supporting new and creative ways to be the church in these rapidly changing times. These are times that we must come to grips with a missional understanding of the church. Darrell Guder in his book Missional Church writes: “…it has taken [the church] decades to realize that mission is not just a program of the church. It defines the church as God’s sent people. Either we are defined by mission, or we reduce the scope of the gospel and the mandate of the church. Thus our challenge today is to move from church with mission to missional church.”The folks at the Church of the Hosannas have in many ways are exploring an understanding of the Church that is indeed beyond their walls and their doors and they have become excited about the possibilities of what being mission minded in this part of the city might look like, and especially excited about what those possibilities might be in concert with places like St. Aidan’s Church.
The people at Hosannas are exploring what Ministry and Mission outside of their building might look like. I am calling on the people of St. Aidan’s to explore what Ministry and Mission outside of our building might look like. The people of Hosannas have also made a difficult decision to seek to find a community with whom to live, love, and worship and are seeking to see if St. Aidan’s might be that community. I ask the people of our parish to join now with the people of Hosannas in praying and discerning how we might better be a missional community whose focus turns to how we can be a reflection of Christ in our immediate community.
We have a great opportunity and we need not miss it – to quote Reggie McNeal “Those who miss the missional renaissance will find themselves rendered irrelevant to the movement of God in the world.
Darrell Guder – Missional Church, Published by Eerdmans p.6