Church Vitality: The church vitality team is a group that has been tasked by Cathedral Committee to help our congregation delve deeper into active discipleship—–to “stir up” a fresh transfusion of excitement for being a member of St. Paul’s Cathedral by facilitating thought and discussion centered on the recent Charge from Bishop Jane to The Assembly of The Territory of the People. So the vitality team will be sending out over the course of several weeks via Claire’s weekly information emails, highlights or key points put forth in the Bishop’s Charge. We encourage all members of St. Paul’s Cathedral to read, reflect on, and dialogue on these highlights. She poses quite a few questions and many good answers. We will have an opportunity to discuss
these when we come together in the fall with our new Dean. Highlights from Bishop Jane Alexander’s Charge to the 2022 Assembly of The Territory of The People
- The geographical places where we live are varied across our communities, with many first nations, rural and urban settings and so on. If we look at two main urban areas I have to tell you there is such opportunity for growth and that fills me with excitement. Kamloops has around 100,000 people and keeps growing with ever greater numbers of young families, children and youth. Prince George has about 85,000 people, according to the last census. Only 15% of the population there is over 65, 17% are under 14 and 68% are between 14 and 64. What a great opportunity!
- Why am I sharing these somewhat dry statistics with you? Well, if the population was staying the same and not changing I guess you could try and make the point that the church doesn’t need to change. But with growth in population and the presence of big unchurched groups of people, well that has opportunity written all over it. The percentage of people who have never ever been to church and who don’t know anything about Jesus is growing all over the world. There is a call on the church to get out
there and show by word and by deed what Jesus is all about and to invite folk to get to know Jesus and Jesus’ family. Can we invite people to come and meet Christ, not just once but over and over again?
Think with me about Jesus’ ministry for a moment. He was always on the move. Always going out and looking for people, always visiting new places, inviting others into community. As Christians we model our ministry upon that of Jesus. We have to go to where the people are.
- Because of course, that is the call to the church to go from Jerusalem to Samaria to the ends of the earth, to Barriere, to Lillooet to Quesnel.
I am under no illusions that this is always easy. So we know that some people will look at a church that is trying to be transparent, a church that shows itself as being full of flawed people and say ‘why do I want to be part of that?’ And yet, there is so much more to the church, so much more to Jesus. And we need
to be able to voice our faith and our hope. No one automatically knows how to do this. I am hoping to bring Michael Harvey (of Calgary) to the Territory in the Fall to visit across our communities to equip us to invite and look for growth.
- I am also going to ask you to set growth goals, not just for worship but for Bible study, fellowship events, prayer groups etc. And I am going to ask you for what may seem an outrageous goal of 10% growth over the next 2 years. Before anyone thinks that’s too big – remember if you currently have 10 people in church or taking part in an activity I am only asking for 1 more. I believe we can do this. And we will do it by making it a priority and by developing a culture of invitation across every aspect of church life.