A Celebration of MissionSaturday 6th October 2018
This week a packed Cathedral gathered for an evening of celebration and mission as we gave thanks for the First Stage of Hope in the Future and look forward to Stage Two.
The Liturgy of Mission was based on the Evening of Prayer for the Feast of St Francis of Assisi. It marks the first anniversary of the launch of the Hope in the Future Project. Last October those present were reminded that St Francis had been called by God, to ‘Rebuild my Church’. Each parish were presented with a framed San Damiano Cross and a year later that image continued to be at the centre of our celebrations.
The first stage of Hope in the Future focused on celebrating our parishes and we have seen many different examples of celebration. From displays of ‘talent trees’ to thanksgiving afternoon tea, parishes have chosen their own distinct way to engage with Stage One and celebrate all that already exists in the life of our parishes. These examples have all been gathered together in a special booklet. We hope that the booklet will provide examples of good practice to those parishes who are just embarking on their Hope in the Future Journey. You can view the booklet here and also please remember to regularly check our parish focus website section for more ideas.
This year each parish was invited to present a shield displaying their first year celebrations. These shields were as varied as our parishes, showing that the uniqueness of each parish is key to the success of Hope in the Future.
The congregation were joined by CJM Music and a choir made up of parishioners and school pupils from across the diocese. One of the hymns for the evening was our own Hope in the Future Hymn. You can listen to the hymn below or download the chords and lyrics for use in your own parish.
In his homily Bishop John thanked all those who made Stage One a success and went on to remind us about the purpose of the next stage of the journey saying:
“We now need to recognise our own talents, maybe we have over looked them, or kept them private for our own concerns. But God has given us those gifts for the service of those around us. Not just in our own parish but in the wider community. ”
In Stage Two we are called to bring our gifts and talents to the service of God’s people and the world. You can read the resources for the start of Stage Two here.
Bishop John went on to say:
“It is so important that we build our parish communities with that sense of mission. Recognising that each one of us is a missionary disciple.”
You can watch Bishop John’s Homily by clicking on the video below.
For more information on Hope in the Future or for assistance in starting a Hope in the Future Team in your parish please email firstname.lastname@example.org