St. George’s is looking forward to the visit of our Bishop, Michael Bird this coming Sunday, January 27th. It is a great opportunity for Bishop Michael to worship and sing with us and for him to preach the word of God to us. This will be Bishop Bird’s second visit since he became Bishop of Niagara in 2008.
His last visit was during the first years of our transformed 11:15 am Sunday Contemporary service and so he is sure to see some of the changes and growth that we have experienced there. We now have quite a group of families with young children who congregate at the back of the service where there is space for them to move around during the service. I also know he will enjoy the last song of the service when all the kids come up front and grab a percussion instrument to join in that last song. This added to anthem the 9:30 am choir has prepared for that service will certainly give him a sense of the full experience available at St. George’s on a Sunday morning.
Having the bishop come, preach, and lead us in worship, is a important reminder of the connection of our parish church to greater Anglican community in our diocese of around a hundred churches. Each of these churches has the same message of Jesus Christ at it’s core, but each finds its’ own way, within the Anglican tradition, to proclaim it in their neighbouring community. The bishop, of course, plays and important role in helping to guide and shape the work of the diocese, but each parish is unique.
At St. George’s, we have been working to understand our ministry in the context of the our greater Anglican community and in our diocese. The diocesan vision has become a good tool for us to use to understand how and where we look to minister to our congregation, community, and world. We have a whole “Vision” section of this website that helps us to see how and where we are at work to fulfill the vision of the diocese here at St. George’s.
What does following Christ passionately mean for us as Anglicans here and now?”
This year in his charge to Synod, Bishop Micheal, spoke of the vision based focus for this coming year in the diocese. In past years he has encouraged us to focus of some of the different areas, from Generous Stewardship, to Social Justice, but for this year his focus is the core of the vision. In his charge he says, “I am encouraging each of our parishes in the diocese to look to the very core of our Vision and to ask this question: ‘What does following Christ passionately look like for you in your life?” What would it look like for your congregation? What should it look like; what could it look like? What does following Christ passionately mean for us as Anglicans here and now?” Over the coming year I want these questions on the agenda of every Parish Council, every clericus, and every diocesan committee.”
I hope you are able to join us this Sunday at St. George’s to welcome our diocesan Bishop, to be nourished by our worship together, strengthen by the sacraments, and encouraged to consider to follow how you follow Christ passionately in your life.