This has been an interesting Synod. The Church in South America are facing similar problems to those that we have been struggling with in the Church of Ireland. The balance between maintenance and mission. The processes they are talking about are very similar to those we have implemented in Strabane. This has been a tremendous encouragement to me, and I hope will also enhance the Vision which we have for Christ Church. A further note for now... this whole experience has rekindled a thought in my heart that Camus-Juxta-Mourne could be a parish which helps others develop and strive to be a mission congregation in their aspirations in Church Growth.
I suspect later this morning is going to be historic for South America as they elect their new Primate for the next 3 years. Time will tell which of the very capable Bishops this will be! Regardless of who this is, there is one thing for sure, this is a Church which is committed to making disciples and the faithful proclamation of the Good News of Christ.
Yesterday afternoon +Fanta took me to visit two men who are totally committed to the Gospel. Cristobal and Max. It was so encouraging to hear how the church membership of where they are serving has grown in 6 years to over 90 people. This is a new church plant in the city centre, however they currently have no building but rent a theatre on a Sunday morning. It was a real blessing to hear of their plans for the future and to get a feel for what the Lord is laying on their hearts. Then last night we met with a married couple - Pen (from Chile) and Luke (from Ireland). Pen served on the Mission team that came to Strabane from Queen's University Belfast during my first year in the parish.
Tomorrow our time in Santiago draws to a close on this part of the trip. We fly to Paraguay to visit some missionaries and share some thoughts on the word of God. May Bishop Fanta and I fulfil the mission statement of Christ Church of 'Preaching the word... being shaped by the Word!'
Thank you for your prayers so far and please pray for:
- The election of the new Primate
- The vision of the Church in South America
- The continued evolving on the vision of Christ Church, Strabane
- SAMS Ireland
- Cristobal and Max
- Pen and Luke
- Our Travel, Safety and Health as we move to Paraguay