On Pentecost Sunday, May 19, all Connor parishes are invited to engage with the Diocesan Vision Strategy and are being offered resources to help them do so.
In a message to parishes, the Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy writes: “Pentecost is a wonderful moment of celebration for the Church. In essence it is our birthday. It reminds us of the moment the church began its God–given role as God’s chosen people, chosen not because of any merit on our part but by God’s mercy.
“The wonder of this is that God may become more manifest in our weakness. The event of that first Pentecost is an on–going process as God’s mission continues in the world today. We are called to be participants in what God is doing.”
The Bishop continues: “In the diocese we have sought to gather together information and discussions that have helped us put some shape to a collective picture of how we might move forward together. This has been done in consultation with parishes’ deaneries and diocesan synod. The outcome of this has been a diocesan strategy under the focus of ‘connections,’ with the priorities of engaging culture, empowering ministry and effecting change.
“This Pentecost Sunday I am requesting parishes to focus on this diocesan strategy in the particular context of Pentecost.
“I ask for prayers for the diocese and each parish as we seek to discern how we in the diocese and in each different parish context may find ways of looking to the future with renewed hope and purpose.”
Bishop Alan’s message concludes: “My prayer is that in each parish context we will discover new opportunities to connect with our local communities and seek to incarnate the presence of Jesus where we are called to serve.”
A variety of resources are available to help parishes find ways of engaging with the strategy. These include liturgy complied by the Rev Peter McDowell, prayers compiled by the Dean of Belfast the Very Rev John Mann and thoughts for a sermon. There is also the Bishop’s written message and a video in which Bishop Alan shares a reflection for everyone the diocese on Pentecost Sunday.
All resources can be downloaded in the Vision Strategy section of this website (please see the link to the left of this page). The video can be accessed via YouTube and can be made available to clergy in DVD format on request to the Diocesan Communications Officer email@example.com.
For further information please contact Connor Parish Development Officer Trevor Douglas firstname.lastname@example.org.