Our Vision and Mission – Hope, Hospitality and Healing
Following Covid and with a new vicar, we are developing our vision for the church’s life and mission. There are three particular words which help us express this: Hope, hospitality and healing.
‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’ (1 Peter 3:9)
The Christian life centres on what God has done for us: being one of us through Jesus’ birth and life; dying for us on the cross, and rising from the dead. Then he fills us with his Spirit, adopts us into his family as his children, and promises our salvation in a renewed world to come.
It is a story of hope, and one which anchors our lives as Christians. We proclaim it gently but confidently, because it has the power to transform our life in the present, as well as the life to come. So we invite all people to come to this same hope in Jesus.
For our life as a church, we point to God, who ‘is able to do abundantly more than we can ask or imagine.’ (Ephesians 3:21) This gives us hope that he will work in us and through us as we seek faithfully to follow Jesus’ call to us.
Nothing complicated! It’s about being with others.
When Jesus walked the earth, much of his ministry was simply being with others, very often around a dinner table. In a way which wasn’t always approved of, he was very clear that he would eat with anyone. We likewise extend that welcome to all into our life together, and see this as being of great importance.
We are grateful and proud of our connections with Swansea Asylum Seeker’s Support, which we host and in which members of our congregation are very actively involved.
As we renew our vision post-covid, it is our hope that we will develop more opportunities for being together – whether that’s parish socials to which all are welcome; coffee mornings, and new groups which seeks to extend our welcome to those outside the church.
The centre of our weekly worship – Holy Communion – is all about hospitality, centred on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. It is our central ritual which we then give expression to in our community life of hospitality.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” (Luke 4:18-19)
Jesus carried on a ministry of healing, and the church still does in his name and through his Spirit’s power.
Healing is about much more than ‘cure’. It is about a change of life towards the flourishing life that God invites us into. That can, and sometimes does, involve physical healing in some measure. More often it involves God’s work in our hearts and minds, pointing us to a better way. This may bring a freedom from destructive or unhelpful thoughts and habits; healing of relationships, or peaceful acceptance of circumstances. Healing is something which everyone needs in some measure, and we regard it as the everyday miracle of God’s work in our lives.
At St James, we will be developing healing services in conjunction with Call to Mind, and encouraging other groups and developments which aim to further God’s healing work.