3ydd o Ebrill 2018 April 3rd1
Dydd Mawrth y Pasg : Tuesday in Great Week
At its meeting on 22 March, the diocesan Standing Committee adopted the final text of eight priorities which it would like to put at the forefront of diocesan life. These were originally conceived as a way in which to acknowledge the new life and growth which the diocese is experiencing, and to inform the decisions and priorities set when the Diocesan Board of Finance discerns and sets the budgets for the next few years.
After consultation with the Diocesan Steering Groups, the Diocesan Officers and Administration Team, and with the Bishop’s Staff, the priorities have become a crystallization of the work we do, and a call to deeper life as the people of God.
In particular, the first priority is seen as an overarching call to be bold in obeying Jesus’ own command to make disciples: to grow as a Church. The priority is quite specific – to grow as the Church by 10% this year.
When a first version of this priority was discussed by us at Clergy Synod, I sensed a couple of cross currents. In the first place, there was excitement, a sense that we were being bold and setting a orientation and goal for the direction of diocesan life which gave us something to direct our energies towards. However, there was also a sense of anxiety, which was reflected at the discussion at Standing Committee, a worry that we might be setting ourselves up for a fall, that the goal was too ambitious, or too difficult to define. Is it about Sunday attendance, or could it be measured in other ways?
The risen Jesus in the Gospel according to Matthew makes a big demand: “Go into all the world” he tells twelve people, “and make disciples.” The disciples respond on Pentecost, when filled with the Spirit, they begin by preaching the good news of the Resurrection to the people in Jerusalem gathered for the Jewish festival of Shavuot. We are told that about 3000 were converted. 25,000% growth from the one occasion.
Now we’re not the apostles, admittedly, and we live in a different context, but Easter, and our fundamental belief that Jesus has conquered the powers of evil, sin and death and is alive should surely make us confident that we can give growth a go, and that God will assuredly bless us, if we’re prepared to do more than say “Come and join us as we are, and become just like us: join us at the 1984 Eucharist at 0930hr any Sunday.” There has to be more to Christianity, to the message of the risen Christ, than that. Just how do we communicate it?
This advertisement will appear in the Church Times on the 13 and 20 April. Please pray for the discernment process to recruit our two new archdeacons and ask for God’s blessing as we work towards two appointments that will be critical to our future. The process is an open one, and there is no preset outcome. I would therefore like any who feels called to explore this possible vocation with us to consider applying. What’s more, if you know of anyone who you think would make an excellent archdeacon for us, then please do share this advertisement with them, and encourage them to undertake the discernment. Applications go live on 13 April.
Hwyl a Helo
I am delighted to announce the appointment of David Lewis as Mission Area Leader for the Aled Mission Area, with immediate effect. David will be licensed on 22nd April at a service in St John’s Church, Old Colwyn at 1500hr.
Dates for your diary
The diary includes all those dates which are part of our common professional life, giving as much notice as possible. The clergy synods are a professional commitment for all serving clergy, and stipendiary clergy are expected unless leave of absence has been given. Please note the next Clergy Synod is on 27 September.
15 April Licensing of Alexier Mayes, St Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay at 1530hr.
22 April Commissioning of David Lewis as Mission Area Leader of Aled, St John’s, Old Colwyn at 1500hr.
24 April Wrexham Archdeaconry retired clergy gathering, Ramada Hotel,
Later in the year
01 May Montgomery Archdeaconry retired clergy gathering, The Royal Oak Hotel, Welshpool, 1500hr
03 May Confirmation for Maelor MA, 1900hr, venue t.b.c.
10 May ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ Prayer initiative begins.
20 May Pentecost Confirmation, Cathedral, 1500hr
24 June Eucharist to Celebrate Ordination Anniversaries, Cathedral, 1100hr. Wrexham MA Confirmation, St Giles’ Church, Wrexham, 1500hr.
27/29/30 June Ember Days*
30 June Petertide Ordination at the Cathedral 1000hr
(including British Sign Language interpretation)
Preacher: The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Lord Williams of Oystermouth
01 July Mold and Borderlands MAs Confirmation,
St Peter’s Church, Northop, 1500hr.
05 July Alyn MA Confirmation, 1900hr
26/28/29 Sept. Ember Days*
27 September Clergy Synod at St David’s Hotel, Ewloe
29 September LLM Annual Convention
01 October Admissions to the Order of St Asaph during Evensong, Cathedral, 1800hr
13 October Diocesan Conference
12 December Nicholastide Confirmation, Cathedral, 1830hr
19/21/22 Dec. Ember Days*
*Please make specific use of the prayer leaflet prepared by the Director of Ministry, and remember our postulants and ordinands, by name if possible, in your prayers, not only on the Ember Days themselves, but in the intercessions in Church the following Sunday.
Notes and Queries
I recently received a visit from Dr Abdalla, the founder and director of the Onyx Foundation, which aims to facilitate conversation between different religious traditions. Dr Abdalla is himself a Muslim, but has given his life’s work over to encouraging the great religious traditions present in this country to enter into dialogue about our common values, and from where they spring.
Dr Abdalla is convening a Wales Interfaith Conference. I promised Dr Abdalla that I would circulate details of this conference to those I knew from the Christian faith who might be interested in participating in the conference. I should be grateful if you could consider whether you would like to attend the conference, and, if so, I should also be grateful if you could let me know, so that I can co-ordinate those of us who may be attending from the Christian tradition.
There is no charge for attending the conference, but individuals are expected to pay their own travel. An early response would be appreciated as Dr Abdalla is hoping to finalise his guest lists towards the end of April: OLF-Conference-Useful-Information
Ordination Anniversaries Eucharist
I would like to invite those who are celebrating a significant ordination anniversary during 2018 to join me for a special celebratory Eucharist at the Cathedral at 1100hr on Sunday, June 24. If you have a special anniversary this year, such as 25 years or the subsequent ‘0’ or ‘5’ anniversaries thereafter, that you would like to celebrate with us on June 24th, then please contact Esgobty by May 31.
The Order of St Asaph
A final reminder that nominations are now being received for the Order of St Asaph in 2018 as we seek to recognise and honour the outstanding contribution of lay persons at diocesan level, particularly at an appropriate point on the completion of service in a particular way or in a particular role.
SWTA Lent Appeal
A final call to support our link with South West Tanganyika, through supporting their ministerial formation and education. It would be good to think that every church community in the diocese, along with individuals if they wish, would be willing to support our brothers and sisters in South West Tanganyika in this way.
The theological college in our twin diocese of SW Tanganyika has 50 students but no books. During Lent our South West Tanganyika Link Association has been encouraging each church in the diocese to sponsor the purchase of a substantial theological book for the Diocese of South West Tanganyika’s Christian Training Centre through a gift of £20. Donations will be most gratefully received by the Diocesan Office, with cheques made payable to ‘St. Asaph-DBF – SWTA’ please.
I wish you a very joyful Eastertide and special blessing as we go forward in the joy and power of the Risen Lord. As ever, thank you for your ministry and faithful service in our family. May God continue to bless and uphold us as we seek to witness to his love.