The journey of recovery will be slower than our journey into lockdown. Life is not going to be a quick return to the old normal, but rather a new living with the virus, certainly for the rest of this year and through next year. Lockdown has been difficult but has also brought new insights, opportunities and priorities to the surface. Part of being a contemplative church will be to reflect carefully on lessons learned and next steps.
We are therefore offering a new tool, loosely framed by the Anglican Five Marks of Mission, to aid reflection, to discern prayerfully, and to plan strategically the shape of the mission of the Church in each of our contexts.
The Five Marks of Mission connect very closely with our calling to be a more Christ-like Church for the sake of God’s world. These are five different aspects of the work and character of Jesus Christ. Because Jesus does these things, so do we, his Church.
The tool, which can be downloaded below, invites you to look at each mark of mission and reflect on what has been lost through the pandemic which we need to grieve, what has been reduced that we need to let go of, what has been reduced that we need to build up again, what has emerged that we need to respond to.
We recognise that Church will need to change. But that change will emerge in a thousand different ways as locally we pay careful attention to the Spirit and as we hold onto our core values of being contemplative, compassionate and courageous after the pattern of Christ.
- Download and print out (PDF with optional worksheets)
- Watch Revd Paul Cowan, Chaplain to the Bishop of Oxford, speaking about the benefits of the new tool.
- Or listen to Bishop Steven introducing the new tool in his podcast Reflections for a Church in Lockdown.