2015 was a 'Year of Mission' in the Diocese of Down and Dromore and in St John's we looked at new initiatives to let people easily connect with us. The logo 'for you' declares that the church is here, not for the sake of itself, but for the sake of the whole community.
October was a special 'Month of Mission' in St John's and we were delighted to have a different guest preacher with us each Sunday. Our thanks to all preachers for their participation in the services and to help us all focus on the theme of mission itself.
4th October - The Revd Glenn West, Rector of Aughnacloy, Co Armagh
11th October - Harvest Sunday - The Revd Dr Donald Watts, former Clerk of the General assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland
18th October - Canon Robert Howard, Rector of Annahilt & Magherahamlet, Co Down
25th October - Canon Jonathan Barry, Rector of Comber, Co Down
When Bishop Harold Millar launched the 'Year of Mission' he presented 3 pictures of how he would like the diocese to be transformed in the run–up to and throughout 2015:
- Firstly, the Bishop said that he wanted us to be “turned inside–out,” meaning that, together, we should face outwards, rather than being consumed by our own parochial needs and preoccupations.
- Secondly, he urged parishes to begin to see everything through a “missional filter” – questioning all our activities, our use of money, our worship and welcome.
- Thirdly, the Bishop issued a challenge to the diocese to move from plateau to growth and, indeed, to believe that growth was possible. He encouraged the select vestries to lead by example and to tend the ground, creating the right environment for growth.
“Let’s embrace the Year of Mission,” he said, “and allow God to transform us so that we are missional all the time and become places of transformation for others.”
In St John's our focus continues to be on developing our parish through actions in the areas of community, children and the church itself. Our hope is that we will see spiritual fruit in our parish with lives changed by an encounter with Jesus Christ, with each parishioner taking their place in the welcoming, worshipping and witnessing the life of their church.
Come and join us at St John's - you will be made very welcome.