Report from the 3rd JPCC
This time around, our main item of business was considering our second priority, ‘Actively engaging with our communities in ways that will encourage people into the Kingdom of God’.
Two main items were considered under this heading. The first was the potential formation of a ‘Good Neighbour Scheme’, which would be a formalised structure, stretching across our communities connecting together people with particular needs and members of our communities with the time and skills to help. For instance, imagine someone who needs to get to the doctor, but can’t drive – so they phone a central number, and explain the situation to the person on the end of the phone. That person then consults the list of volunteers, and finds someone who is happy to give people short lifts when they are stuck. The two are put in touch, and the world is a slightly better place! That’s only one example, and I’m sure your imagination can see others. The idea has come about from discussions with NYCC, and we are now in consultation with Communities First Yorkshire to see how it can best be developed. It was felt to be a good fit for our churches, as it many ways it simply adds to the many good works of loving service carried out by our congregations on a regular basis, but will hopefully provide a mediated structure to involve more of our communities in helping one another, and being helped by one another.
Secondly, we set about planning a calendar of ‘Proclamation’ events for 2018. We are aware that as churches we are often very good at putting on social events, for fundraising purposes, or just gently reminding our communities that we exist – but with very few tweaks, these events can become easy platforms for not just entertaining people, but telling them how much God loves them. The hope is to put on events to strengthen our relationships that we would all be happy to invite our friends to that they would enjoy, but would perhaps also open doors for conversations at some point about our faith. Briefly: February – a pancake party; April – Pilgrim walks; June – Benefice garden party; August – Ripley Show; October – Pumpkin Party; November – Special Remembrance event to mark 100 years.
Alongside with the Discipleship events plotted at our last JPCC 2018 is beginning to shape up to be a busy looking year – and we’re not going to be able to manage it all without a lot of prayer, and a lot of work. The good news is we have five churches committed to making this happen, and the skills and experience across them to make it a reality. If anything has caught your imagination, or attention, and you would like to get involved then please do not hesitate to let me know! And please don’t be offended if someone asks you to help out – it’s only because they think you have the skills and talents needed to make what we’re up to as great as it can be, for the glory of God.
Remember, to stay up to date on everything that’s going on, being on our weekly news, and occasional discipleship email lists is a really good idea – so do drop me a line.
Thank you for your support as we seek to develop and grow our church,
God bless you,
The Revd. Paul Harford