OUR VISION for 2017
Summary of the vision for Jubilee Church as outlined by the elders on vision day, 29th January 2017.
As an introduction our Lead Elder, Dave Webb-Peploe provided a brief overview of the last year and also introduced the whole principle of the ‘Jubilee Year’ after which our church is named. The Jubilee Year (as outlined in Leviticus 25) included a number of key activities. No land was farmed, all debts were cancelled and all property was returned to its original owners. The implications of these measures were that everything was owned by God, the people were required to trust God completely during the fallow year and above all, significant time was made available to celebrate and spend time with their creator and redeemer.
The elders have therefore felt that the key central theme for the coming year is ‘Intimacy with God.’
Geoff Gilbert showed us a Venn diagram with three overlapping circles, representing the Trinity, with the key space being the area where all the circles overlapped - in a sense where the greatest intimacy of God takes place.
He shared from John chapter 15 in which Jesus said He was the vine and we were the branches. A branch not grafted into the root stock (namely Christ) was good for nothing and fit only for burning.
But a branch that received the life source from Christ and absorbed the life giving energy of the parent plant was able to bear much fruit.
“Remain in me, and I will remain in you.” John 15:4
Geoff also drew our attention to the design made by the overlapping areas of the three circles - a triquetra - which was used by the early church as a symbol, similar to the ichthus fish that many of us are familiar with.
Following this Mike Gilson took up the line of reasoning by reminding us of the verse that he had spent a significant amount of time meditating on: “Love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind.” (Matthew 22:37)
He continued to look at the three circles by suggesting that they could be Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
However he also encouraged us to look at them as being ‘the Word, Prayer and the Spirit’ as areas of focus.
In a final summary Dave suggested that rather than being goal-oriented as has been typical of previous vision days, we need to be relationship oriented. He invited the church to consider their individual journey into Christ for the coming year and how the particular areas of prayer, God’s word and being open to the Spirit could be enhanced. He also encouraged us not to think of this as just an individual process but that we had a corporate responsibility to encourage one another to draw closer to God.
This year’s vision is definitely a departure from the norm - relationship with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit is trumpeted above all things. And who knows? Increased well-being and possibly even fruitfulness might be the result.
DWP January 2017