Prayer & Preaching 5th January

Towards 2020 and MORE…

We’re all familiar with a new year signalling the start of new things. Some of us are always going to be more invested in wider church initiatives than others but, as your Rector, it is my duty and joy (supported by the Leadership and Ministry Teams, Churchwardens and PCC) to commend Bishop Martin’s initiative for 2020 and beyond…

The most recent Diocesan Strategy has been up and running since 2015. The aim has been to foster an atmosphere where we all learn to know, love and follow Jesus.

The three goals set by Archbishop Rowan and adopted by us in 2015 provided a framework for our activity as we have sought to grow numerically and spiritually, re-imagine ministry and contribute to the common good. The resources at Church House, Hove have been fully employed encouraging parishes as they have worked to implement this vision in their own settings.

As the five-year period draws to a close, it is time to take stock and look forward to the next five years in our household of faith.The next phase of our strategy will build on that which has gone before, focussing more clearly on needs, challenges and opportunities that have come into focus as we have travelled together since 2015.

The theme of the next phase is ‘more’! We have made a start, but we need to be more effective in a number of areas if we are to be faithful in proclaiming the faith afresh to our generation.

The four mores are manifestations of the Nicene Creed conviction that the Church is to be one, holy, Catholic and apostolic. They are not the exclusive manifestation of these qualities, but they are areas in our life to which we need to give serious attention.

The four mores are: ‘More Open’, ‘More Converted’, ‘More Generous’, ‘More Engaged’.

So – in 2020, Harbour Churches of Birdham, Itchenor and West Wittering will seek to share the wider Diocesan vision to be ‘More Open’ :

We have a vision for congregations with age and other profiles reflecting the communities they serve. We want to see the church as a family of all ages, loving, serving, contributing and receiving together at a level appropriate for their age and maturity.

O God, who by the leading of a star manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth; mercifully grant that we, who know you now by faith, may at last behold your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen

We continue to pray for:
Clemmie and Robert Bowen-Colthurst

And those who have recently died and their loved ones:
Gordon Wright, Tony Johnson and Gerard

If you know of anyone who needs our prayers or would appreciate a visit, please let the Rector or the Parish Administrator know.

Should you wish to contact the Rector his mobile number is 07538 011579.

Services for this weekend
8.00 BCP Holy Communion at West Wittering and Itchenor

At Birdham (9.30) Eric Eyre’s sermon theme will be “Star Trek (Transformative worship)”.  At West Wittering (10.00) Jonathan Swindells’ sermon theme will be “More Open” and at Itchenor the theme for Little Nick’s will be “The Three Kings”.

There will be Evensong at 6.00 at West Wittering

Sunday 5th January – Epiphany
Isaiah 60. 1-6; Ephesians 3. 1-12; Matthew 2. 1-12
2 Corinthians 8. 9; John 1. 14-18
Isaiah 49. 1-13; John 4. 7-26

Sunday 12th January – Baptism of Christ
Isaiah 42. 1-9; Acts 10. 34-43; Matthew 3. 13-end
Romans 12. 1-5; Luke 2. 41-52