Mission Action Plan
Come seek find live
The four words above are on the glass doors at the entrance to St Mary’s. These are words which we often find on the lips of Jesus. They all underline the reality that faith grows as we respond to the many invitations he gives. They fit in with many people’s experience that faith is a journey or a process, where the assumption is that we don’t stand still! They remind us that Christianity is about discovering and living God’s life today.
A key part of St Mary’s mission is for it to be a community and a place of welcome, there are also three other important words on the doors.
All are welcome
What is a Mission Action Plan all about?
Jesus says: I have come that you may have life in all its fullness.
At St Mary’s we welcome everyone, journey together with God and strive to reflect his love in the world.
Our VISION at St Mary’s is to serve God and our community and tell the story of Jesus Christ to our neighbours in Harefield. The MISSION ACTION PLAN sets out how we plan to do this. So the targets listed in this document are actions we believe need to be taken in the coming year or so in order to pursue this vision. They are not listed in any particular order nor do they include all the activities we do routinely at St Mary’s.
So what about the future?
Now that the Space Project has been completed, St Mary's is a building which positively assists and enhances the church's worship and mission. And it means we can focus more clearly on MISSION.
There are two major challenges in 2010. One major objective is the project to appoint a Youth Worker. This is shared with St Giles’ Ickenham. The other will be the appointment of a new vicar following Andrew's departure this year, and sustaining our life and ministry during the gap.
A. PRAYER & WORSHIP
PRAYER plugs us in to God's power. It should be what Christians do BEFORE anything else, as we seek God's guidance and his enabling. We ran a Lent series on prayer in 2010 at all the main Sunday services.
WORSHIP is potentially a time of meeting or encounter with God. We recognize that different styles appeal to different people. So there needs to be varying levels of formality. But at St Mary's we have also discovered that many appreciate worship which is participatory, relaxed, engaging and fun.
We aim ..
to find ways of strengthening the prayer life of St Mary’s.
to be a church where people are more confident and committed
to pray for and with each other.
A.1 Target: to continue to experiment with ideas that will help people to see and use the church as a place of PRAYER.
A.2 Target: to encourage everyone to use the regular spaces and opportunities for prayer: the "prayer corner" at front of the South aisle, invitations for prayer ministry after services, (regularly updated) PRAY EVERY DAY leaflet, providing prayer points on Sunday sheets.
A.3 Target: to plan and provide an annual Quiet Day or Half-day (maybe in second half of 2010). To promote similar events being held locally and encourage people to attend them.
A.4 Target: to experiment further with encouraging the congregations to participate more actively in praying together during worship, and giving a stronger focus (and more time?) to praying in the home groups.
A.5 Target: to keep meetings to a minimum each Lent (except Lent Groups), in order to encourage the whole church family to give time and attention to their own spiritual lives.
A.6 Target: to continue to offer quarterly more meditative Taizé style services at 6.30pm.
A.7 Target: to explore and expand the use of SILENCE in worship.
B. YOUTH & MUSIC
As a church we want to nurture and encourage youngsters of all ages, but in particular we want to keep and guide them through their teenage years. Music, through Junior Choir and the Band, is proving a great way of encouraging youngsters to engage with church. We value the way this is happening and want to develop this and other ways of strengthening our ministry among youngsters. We also need to think about non musical youngsters and boys in general!
B.1 Target: To appoint and fund a youth worker (London Challenge 2012) who will work alongside the existing Launch team, to teach, train, encourage and minister to our young people, with a particular role among teenagers. This is a shared project with St Giles' Ickenham. This will require ongoing planning (shared with St Giles), a commitment to fund £17,500 per annum and to establish an effective steering group to support the youth worker.
B.2 Target: to encourage and support the team who run The Launch children's groups. To continue to issue them with recorded copies of the sermons they miss during children's activity groups.
B.3 Target: to continue to develop the use of the Band in Sunday worship. We are moving towards a point when the Band will become effectively stand-alone (ie. not dependent on an organist to accompany some items in the service.)
B.4 Target: to identify a new director for the adult choir.
B.5 Target: to appoint a new organist.
B.6 Target: to develop the 1st Sunday services to encourage higher attendance. We want to explore ways of making this service less "vicar-centric". This may be through outside preachers or encouraging the teenagers to run the occasional service.
B.7 Target: to review the resources (spaces, staffing, as well as equipment) of the crèche and the Launch regularly to make sure they are adequately equipped and leaders and helpers trained and supported.
B.8 Target: to continue to run an annual Holiday Club
B.9 Target: to be proactive in encouraging families who bring children for baptism to grow into The Launch.
C. REGULAR MAINTENANCE & ENVIRONMENT
If we will follow policies of proactive maintenance for all our properties. (London Challenge 2012)
C.1 Target: at the Church Hall, to replace the boiler over the summer of 2010, and lower windows on North side.
C.2 Target: to continue improvements in the churchyard ie. by good management of compost and litter, re-pointing boundary walls, urgent crazy paving maintenance, encouraging closer adherence to Churchyard Guidelines, good tree husbandry.
C.3 Target: to develop the regular sales of fairly traded goods and reduce the volume of non FairTrade items used in Church activities generally.
C.4 Target: to empty the portacabin and move it off site, by June 2010.
C.5 Target: to establish a regular team or work party for routine maintenance (gutters etc) of all church properties, and anticipate major works that will need to be undertaken.
C.6 Target: to encourage more people to help at monthly churchyard working parties.
D. OUTREACH & COMMUNICATION
We want to become as accessible as possible to the community through a wide range of communication. These include website, emails, posters, notice boards, MONTH, Sunday Service Sheets and Christmas cards through every letterbox.
D.1 Target: appoint a Co-ordinator of Communications, someone with the gifts and IT skills to be responsible for producing posters and other publicity to communicate effectively what we are doing.
D.2 Target: keep the website updated at least monthly. This could become part of the MONTH editorial team.
D.3 Target: to maintain and improve the Harefield Month, providing both a valued service to the community, and to tell some positive Christian stories.
D.4 Target: to explore further ways of reaching people through social activities and events, such as 'First Friday', Quiz Nights etc.
D.5 Target: to maintain the Welcome Team, develop a welcome pack for newcomers to the village, and welcome cards in the pews.
D.6 Target: to ensure that the Electoral Roll reflects the actual membership of the church. New church members may need a specific invitation to sign up.
E. PASTORAL CARE & TEACHING
Sometimes there seem to be many people at the communion rail for blessing rather than to receive communion. What is this saying? How should we respond? Is there an opportunity we are missing?
E.1 Target: be responsive to requests from the PCC to assist with various duties during the interregnum.
E.2 Target: continue to run an Emmaus Group or similar at least once a year, encourage follow up groups; and maintain and promote home groups.
E.3 Target: ensure adequate administration to free vicar of unnecessary admin duties.
E.4 Target: identify and equip others to join the pastoral team and Bereavement Visitors.
E.5 Target: to remind the bishop that we have a house and are always ready to give good experience to a newly ordained curate!
DREAMS BECOMING REALITY (DBR’s)
In addition to all the things above that we hope (with God’s help) to achieve, it’s good to dream. And here are some of our dreams which we hope will become realities.
DBR.1 To encourage gifts and ministries, to release, encourage and foster vocations to new areas of ministry. God calls people, and he might just be calling ME to do or be something different.
DBR.2 Following the Space Project, we need to think and pray about the opportunities for new patterns of worship to make the Christian faith more accessible, attractive and appealing to the unchurched. And for the courage to take risks! For instance, there might be other ways of “doing church” away from the building and outside the Sunday morning slot.
DBR.3 Review and promote follow-up events for recently married couples.
RESOURCES for the above - ie “where do I fit in??”
“We are the Body of Christ.” Paul’s words that we use in most Communion services remind us that we are a family. A human body is fit and healthy when every part, however small, is connected and functions as it should. In a church community, everyone counts and needs to play their part, or the whole team will falter. We want to encourage more people to be active in the life of the church. By focussing regularly on TIME, TALENTS and GIVING, we want to enable vacant posts to be filled, and opportunities for mission, serving and growth to be taken.
We will promote legacy giving, so that it becomes a regular part of our stewardship programme. This will happen as part of a service at least once a year and other opportunities will be explored. (London Challenge 2012)
We will encourage and promote the national stewardship initiative "Giving for Life" Including regular updates to church members about giving for God's MISSION and where their money is spent.
These are some of the present opportunities for service:
For Mission Action Planning to be effective, there needs to be a regular review process. This document has been formally passed by the PCC in March 2010 and will be reviewed quarterly.
The Parish Office
co The Vicarage
28 Countess Close