Dear Friends of St Cyprian's Church, On the notice board and downstairs in the vestry are pinned a statement called ‘The five Marks of Mission’. The Five Marks of Mission are an important statement our duty as Christians. They express not just the Diocese of London’s or the Church of England’s view on Mission, but the whole the Anglican Communion’s common commitment to, and understanding of God’s holistic and integral mission.
For those of you who have never heard of them… the 5 marks of mission are;
To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
To respond to human need by loving service
To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth
They are an agreed list within the global Anglican Communion. ‘They express the Anglican Communion’s common commitment to, and understanding of, God’s holistic and integral mission. The mission of the Church is the mission of Christ.’
The 5 marks can be summarised with a beautifully alliterated list; · Tell · Teach · Tend · Transform · Treasure I like these as a framework for discussing mission. For a start, it gives us a way to grapple with the fact ‘evangelism’ (if that’s even a thing anymore) is only part of the broader picture of mission.
I like the holistic nature of these 5 marks. However, there seems to be a range of opinion on whether there is a hierarchy within the list. The Anglican communion website states that ‘The first Mark of Mission, identified with personal evangelism at the Anglican Consultative Council in 1984 (ACC-6) is a summary of what all mission is about, because it is based on Jesus’ own summary of his mission. This should be the key statementabout everything we do in mission. That’s fine but I’m not clear on the definition of ‘personal evangelism’ and I believe the term evangelism has come to mean something much more specific than ‘proclamation’ might mean.
So, my first point is that we probably need to re-establish a definition of ‘proclamation’ for our time and our culture. I wonder if having ‘TELL’ at the top of the list is potentially playing into an unhelpful historic precedent of what’s important?
Perhaps there needs to be a re-write which has an introductory sentence about proclamation (through word and deed) as the basis of the 5 marks through Jesus’ example and then use different language around ‘evangelism’?
Secondly (that’s right, I’ve thought of more than one thing), It strikes me that none of the others matter if we no longer have a habitable planet. Given the focus on climate change and everything Greta Thunberg has spoken about this year, I wonder if it might make sense to put ‘TREASURE’ at the top of the list and shift our focus from events in church to saving the planet our children might still need when we’re gone.
So, I wonder if I might make the suggestion that if there is to be a hierarchy within the 5, it might be the following… · Treasure · Tend · Transform · Teach · Tell Given that I would define proclamation through word and deed, I believe this might change the balance in how we partake in being missional (and how we finance it). In a culture that is ‘spiritual not religious’, I whole heartedly believe that those exploring faith will see Christ (and I hope the Trinity really), through our care of the planet, our care of those in need and our questioning of unjust social structures as we seek to teach through our example and tell through vulnerable and authentic discussion as we partner with people to do the first 3…
Fr Gerald Beauchamp In January we said farewell to Fr Gerald who has taken retirement, and a well-earned rest. His last Sunday was on the 19th January. He has sent me the following: I would like to say a very big 'thank you' to everyone who came to my farewell on 19 January. I'm very grateful for all of the good wishes, cards and very generous cheque that I received. I hope that St Cyprian's flourishes in the future and I pray that under Fr Michael's leadership the stability of the past decade will continue. Thank you and God bless you all. Fr Gerald
Lent. This month sees the start of Lent, I am really hoping that we can take this seriously as a church community. Ash Wednesday is on the 26th February, preceded on the 25th by our famed Pancake Supper at 7pm, please do join us if you are able to. Rather than have a Lent course this year, Fr Simon and I are suggesting something simpler and more reflective. It is intended to say Evening Prayer at 6.30pm, followed by a homily, then gathered up into a simple Benediction. We hope you will consider joining us for these acts of worship: 2nd March - Palm Sunday - Fr Simon 9th March - Spy Wednesday - Fr Michael 16th March - Maundy Thursday - Fr Simon 23rd March - Good Friday - Fr Michael 30th March - Easter Day - Fr Jack Noble
Contactless giving We are finally catching up with the rest of the world as far as giving is concerned. It seems that these days hardly anyone carries cash, so we need to give you the possibility to pay by Credit or Debit card. You will observe at the back of the church a contactless giving portal. You can decide how much you want to give by following the on-screen instructions, any amount from £3 - £30 may be donated. It’s safe and secure, your details are not retained, and the donation will appear on your bank statement as ‘St Cyprian’s Church’.
Dates for Your diary Ash Wednesday; 26 February Mothering Sunday; 22 March Palm Sunday; 5 April Holy Thursday; 9 April Good Friday; 10 April Holy Saturday; 11 April Easter Sunday; 12 April Ascension Day; 21 May Pentecost; 31 May
The St Marylebone quiz nightFriday 28th February 7-9 pm. We are invited to join with our neighbours at St Marylebone to join them for a fun-filled quiz evening. The entry fee is £10 per person, which includes a drink and a cheese board per group. Participants must be aged 18 or over. It would be really good if we could muster a team (I’m sure we would win!) Please let me know if you would like to participate, we already have a couple of volunteers.
With every Blessing
Some words of Saint Mother Teresa: ‘When you look at a crucifix you understand how much Jesus loved you then. When you look at the Eucharist you understand how much Jesus loves you now!’