The General Assembly (2021) instructed all Presbyteries to develop a Presbytery Mission Plan by the end of 2022, with the emphasis on mission. The Presbytery has devised a detailed roadmap for achieving this plan, with a timetable that begins NOW with consultation and inviting Kirk Sessions and area groups to discuss their future options remembering the strapline: the mission of the church is the mission of Christ.
“To be a Church which seeks to inspire the people of Scotland and beyond with the Good News of Jesus Christ through enthusiastic worshipping, witnessing, nurturing and serving communities.”
The Five Marks of Mission
We asked to consider how we are fulfilling “the mission of the Church which is the mission of Christ”, defined in five strands of activity:
- To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
- To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
- To respond to human need by loving service
- To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation
- To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
We are to consider these in relation to our parish, and also as part of our cluster, and with ecumenical partners where appropriate.
The Core Principles
We are asked to bear in mind the core principles unchanged from the previous planning round:
- Focus on our Communities
- Ecumenical partnership
- Priority of the Poor
- Ministry of the Whole People of God
- Strengthen Congregations
- Develop a “mixed economy” of traditional and innovative churches
- Encourage financial responsibility
- Assess buildings as “well equipped spaces in the right places”
- Quota of Full-Time Equivalent Ministries will be reduced from 55.5 to 44.5. (Note: In 2011 the quota was 68.5).
- Buildings will be assessed as essential for the future or not.
- Area teams are encouraged, ecumenically where possible
- Training for worship, pastoral care and mission provided to equip people for shared ministry.
- Being creative about new forms of church/mission and leadership (including locally paid staff).
- Presbytery Consultation including Q and A sessions for clarification (Mon 16 August @7.30pm, Wed 18 August @ 10am)
- Kirk Session discussions on the Five Marks of Mission, ministry allocation and options for readjustment to be sent to Presbytery by 30 September. (Questions supplied)
- Local area discussions on potential patterns of ministry. (Report by 28 February 2022)
- Presbytery Conference to agree vision and key objectives of road map (18 September)
- Local Consultations with Facilitators
- Mission Task Group “gap analysis” to check assumptions and progress.
- Draft plan and missional initiatives identified by Spring 2022
- Ongoing consultations throughout process
- Series of decision points – Presbytery June and Sept 22, Faith Nurture Forum Autumn 22, Final Plan agreed by Presbytery Dec 2022
Like the Scottish Government Roadmap out of lockdown this is more of a signpost pointing us in the correct direction without showing you the destination.
Thanks to Rev Peter Nelson who produced this summary of the process.