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"Vision 2019 is an opportunity to say 'here's what I think our church needs to be about.'"
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Message from Deborah L., East Dalhousie NS

As I have pondered with the idea of what our church will look like in 2019, I hope and pray that we will be a community committed to living  out our call to be God’s visible presence in our world.  I hope we will be an inclusive Christian community, open to all with no reservations.  I hope we will be focused on helping all our members deepen their personal spirituality and prayer lives so we can empower each other to reach out to those in need in the world.  I hope we will seek and proclaim justice for all peoples…. that we will boldly lead, not meekly or tentatively follow justice seekers in the secular world.  I hope we will have overcome the pettiness of squabbles over sexuality and who can be a full member of the church.  I hope that by 2010, we will not have found a new group of people about whom to debate and be suspicious as we have done in the past…. with people of colour, aboriginal people, the divorced, women, and now homosexuals.

There are so many people hurting in the world, in our own country and in our very communities. I hope we will be a church which is on the front line of helping those who are hurting, those who are marginalized, those in pain.  I hope we will be brave in putting people before buildings and using our limited financial resources for ministry rather than to maintain buildings from another era.  I hope that when small rural communities cannot afford to support a building, that when their “church is closed and deconsecrated”, new ways of ministering to the remnant of people in such communities, who are the church,  will be found and supported financially by the wider church.

I hope that we will not be so focused on the letter of liturgical law, theology and tradition that we miss new ways of being church.  I hope that we will find ways of making opportunities for prayer and retreats available to people in their daily lives…. people who want to deepen their faith, their lives of prayer but who cannot go off to expensive retreat houses in distant places due to family and employment responsibilities.  I hope we will be ministering to people in the ordinary circumstances of their lives in ways that are meaningful and available.  I hope that we will be focused on drawing forth the God-given gifts of ministry in all people.

I believe we as a church have so much potential, but so little focus right now.  We are using so much energy on pettiness and inward gazing rather than focusing on how God is calling us in the world.   While we debate the issue of this day,  I believe we are failing to notice those in need around us or at the very least we are unable to adequately respond because our energy has been spent.  I hope by 2010, we will have grown into the church we have the potential to be with God and in God.

With Respect,  I am,

Deborah L.
member of St. Cyprian’s Church
East Dalhousie, Parish of New Ross
Diocese of NS PEI

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