Vision is a picture of the future that inspires passion, focus, direction and a sense of purpose.
Where there is no vision, people perish; but blessed are those who heed God’s instruction. Proverbs 29:18
Without vision we may lose our way. Although we know where we are, we can’t map out the journey ahead unless we know where we’re going. Whether we are 5, 50 or 95 years old, our vision statement should give a purpose for being a member of St Paul’s church. It points to what we feel that God desires us do, and addresses the question of what we will become. Associated with it are values that we need to affirm and develop.
Over the last 5 years we have been listening to God, to you and to the community around, prayerfully discerning the future vision for St Pauls.
Primarily this is about forward thinking and feeling our way into the future and not dwelling in the past. Where should we be in 5 and 10 years time, and what legacy will we leave for future generations?
This process of listening began when a parish profile was collated in 2009 for the forthcoming interviews for a new vicar here. You described yourselves as ‘a very busy church, trying as best we can to follow God’s will’, but ‘needing spiritual growth’, with ‘an ageing congregation’, ‘not being representative of our community’, and ‘needing to demonstrate God’s love to the community’.
We feel that the time is right now to articulate what we have discerned as we have listened in the way that has been described. Our sense is that we are called to be ‘A LIGHTHOUSE FOR THE COMMUNITY’
A place of security and stability, built on the rock that is God. A place that reveals the light of the presence and love of Jesus to the community. A place that gives direction, guidance and purpose though the power of the Holy Spirit.
As light defines Jesus (John 1:4-5) we are called to walk in the light (1 John 1:5-2:14) and to give this light away (Matthew 5:14-16) to the community we live and worship in. This will be done as we go out into the locality as people demonstrating God’s light and love in words and action (Matt. 28:19-20).
Here is our Mission Action Plan for 2016/17