Themes of Ministry and Mission at the Church of Christ Wembley Downs 1996-2018
The life of the ministry, witness and mission of the church during this period can be broadly described through several themes.
The kind of church for the community we aspired to be was informed by explorations of the history of Celtic missionary movement in the early centuries of our faith – in the search for a wholistic and sacramental embracing of total community with all the gifts of ministry for all the people of the community. It was a church without walls embracing all with whom we came into contact as part of the journey.
The results found articulation in the words of Michael Bullard who conducted a church consultation. He called us a Platypus – all things to all people. We adopted the Platypus as our mascot.
We began to define our ministries as a church through Eugene Peterson’s Five Smooth Stones for Pastoral Work – describing the unique activities of the church that defy the Goliaths that oppress our times.
Story-making – sharing and inculcating our individual and collective stories through the Christ story
Prayer Directing – developing an intentional prayerful stance for individual and community
Pain Sharing – sitting with another’s suffering as part of the ministry of lament
Nay Saying – countering the attitudes and aspirations that are less than those of God’s love
Community Building – creating and fostering a network of relationships grounded in Christ’s transforming love
In 2015, Alexander Shaia, blessed us with his visit and introduced us to a fresh and ancient view of the lectionary that not only informs our weekly teaching, but guides our orientation to daily living. It’s all In his major work Heart and Mind: The Four-Gospel Journey for Radical Transformation.
The four Gospels describe a cyclical season for growth as we continuously encounter four matching universal questions of the human journey. Namely
1st path: How do I deal with the surprises and uncertainty of change? (Matthew)
2nd path: How do I negotiate seasons of suffering, pain and despair? (Mark)
3rd path: How do I savour flashes of insight into unity and completion? (John}
4th path: How do I gather these experiences for mature service (Luke?)
These themes of ministry are mutually inclusive and the fruits of their implementation have borne fruit over the years. They lay a sound foundation for the continuing life, witness and mission of the Church of Christ at Wembley Downs
Dennis & Jenny Ryle