Three Minutes to Synod on What is Mission for Scottish Episcopal Church

I was given 3 minutes to speak at Synod on the Misison of the SEC. This is what I said.

We need two strands of missionary activity – firstly building local congregations where people who would never expect to discover God can find that they are already welcome and are already loved and secondly, the surprising places where people don’t expect the church to go. That means, for example, being the church in the streets, in the wedding show, onto the broadcast studio, in the newspapers and the church that dares to make find anew its commitment to chaplaincy in higher education.

The news we have to share is that Jesus Christ, the incarnate son of God has come into this world and told us we are loved.

We share that news in many ways as people who sometimes differ.

There will be no peace in the church unless we learn to accept that we may disagree. There will be no peace in the church until we recognise that God is at work in those who see things differently. Indeed, there will be no peace in the church until we recognise that our mission is compromised by our infighting. We must find ways to accept and celebrate the good things that God is doing in and amongst people who are different from us.

I want to finish with three things that I think must characterise our mission. They are spirituality, the bible and love. Each of these is our heritage and each of these is given us as a free gift to share and pass on.

People are queuing up to pay good money to all kinds of teachers of meditation to discover the kind of practical spirituality that has already been given to us by God to share for free. Mission is teaching people to pray. Mission is creating worship that changes our hearts and souls.

The bible because again it is our heritage. Ours to read and ours to share. As someone who comes from an evangelical background, I’m often surprised by the lack of knowledge of the bible in our church. The Bible is our heritage and it is ours to share. And it is one of the most exciting parts of our calling to teach people to read the scriptures anew – reading them with passion and with the old fashioned orthodoxy of common sense. Mission is setting people free by giving them the tools and the skills to read the bible.

And love, because again, it is our heritage and it is what we have to share. It is our heritage because God loves us. Mission is simply finding ever more creative ways to share what it means to know the giddy joy of being utterly loved by God.

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