Delegates at the Down and Dromore Diocesan Synod on 21 June unanimously passed a motion to designate 2015 a ‘Year of Mission’. The motion, proposed by the Diocesan Council for Mission, was heartily endorsed by Bishop Harold Miller in his Presidential Address.
So what is the thinking behind the ‘Year of Mission’ and what might we expect in 2015 and the run–up to it?
The Council for Mission plans to facilitate a series of mission events which would culminate in the mission focus of 2015. This includes a call to every parish in the diocese to plan a period of evangelism in the autumn of that year. The vision is that it will leave a legacy of mission opportunities.
Some ideas are:
- Extending the Bishops’ Bible Week to include mission activities
- Collaboration with mission agencies eg. 24/7 Prayer, Summer Madness, Church Army, New Wine, Alpha, CMSI’s Discover Course, Freedom in Christ, Grief Sharing, Divorce Sharing, Christianity Explored, Sharing Faith Stories….
- Diocesan and Area Deanery mobilising and equipping events for key people in the period 2012–14, some of which to be in the style of a Diocesan Convention.
- An event that equips parishes to engage with overseas mission agencies.
- Children’s Mission to be an integral part of the plans.
- The events could include missionaries coming to our Diocese as well as mission to overseas.
- The possibility of running a convention from 2013
- The Synod in 2014 to be on a Friday and Saturday located at a large venue to involve more than those elected to Synod.
- Each parish to engage in some form of evangelistic outreach in March or late October/early November 2015.
- Main events and major gatherings are to include children and youth streams.
- Parishes would be encouraged to examine all they are doing through the lens of mission.
- Some parishes may be able to form a team or teams who could be a resource to others parishes where there is a specialisation eg. speakers, healing prayer, music, youth, outreach.
The resources built up over the next few years could be a continuing resource for parishes in the Diocese into the future.