Church of Colney Heath, St Mark
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Since the previous MAP we have navigated the Pandemic and are taking advantage of the unique opportunity lockdown has given to review all areas of church life in order to rebuild and lay firm foundations which shape the church’s future.
During 2020 and 2021 our encouragements have been many and in particular we highlight the blessing of reaching new people online via Digital and streamed Services. We are delighted to welcome new people at church services physically and are working on Discovery groups to help people to find faith.
We are delighted at the success of running Everyone Connected Garden Socials seeing numerous people signing up to host garden socials or attending them.
We are encouraged at how our Online Youth Work Beacon has been well attended and has demonstrated how we can reach young people in different ways.
We are delighted to refresh areas of church life such as evolving a coffee morning to become a community cafe, transitioning Messy Church to Family Celebration, and also the return of familiar activities such as Smartees, Mens Breakfast and cream teas for the elderly.
We eagerly await to see what may come out of our time of conversation and review looking forward to seeing what we might discover for our context.
The pandemic has had some positive impact but it has also brought challenges;
– The Church has felt scattered
– Singing has been missed as a tool for worship
– Much community and outreach events have been placed on pause
– Covid restrictions and uncertainty have been difficult
– People have been hurt and affected by such a season of isolation and hardship
St Mark’s Church Re- emerging from Lockdown June 2021
Recover- Rebuild- Reach out – Discover
Recover- Pacing a phased return of church activities. Providing times to reflect (Well-being series, Equip, Thanksgiving and Remembrance, socials, teaching series)
Rebuild- Gentle review conversations for restarting activities under the questions:
What should remain the same? What is God call us to change or develop? What is new from this season that we want to continue? What needs to be paused or stopped at this time?
Reach out- To continue to reach out to the local community: school, Refuge, nurture digital views (Community BBQ)
Discover- Open to new initiatives and what God could be doing that’s different to what we ‘plan’
The particular priority and focus areas for this season are;
1. Community – regathering, belonging and social time together
2. Discipleship – teaching and participatory worship
3. All age ministry – youth, families and older people (Youth minister)
4. Evangelism and outreach – reaching new people with the gospel & nurturing those to faith. Caring for those beyond ourselves.
5. Practicalities – building care and logistics (Quinquennial)
Our strapline is to ‘make church a revelation’ both for those who are yet to find a home in a church community and to each other as we seek God and follow in the way He leads.
As we re-imagine what church looks like, and exactly what God is calling into being at St Mark’s, we build our community life around five core values:
1. Community – regathering, belonging and social time
Recognizing the aloneness of this season it is a high priority for us to provide points of re-connection, regathering and social interaction for all ages after having been apart for so long.
Goal is to ensure that each age group has a way to connect with each other again
2. Discipleship and worship – Church is not designed to be viewed it is an act of worship
To engage people in participatory worship whether on Sunday mornings or small groups or at home
3. All age ministry – youth, families and older people
To prioritize ministry for families and young people
Family celebration, schools work and youth programme in place by autumn.
Evangelism and outreach – reaching new people with the gospel & nurturing those to faith. Caring for those beyond ourselves.
To have accessible and simple ways for people to find out more about Jesus which is relevant to them. Discovery groups running by Autumn.