(Alexandria District)… Moving Forward in God’s Mission”
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28: 18-20
(Theme and scripture of 2019 Annual Conference)
As I reflect on our recent Annual Conference gathering in Roanoke, I find both comfort and strength in the words of our guest preachers, our Bible study leader, and especially our interim bishop … all urging us to “move forward in God’s mission!” During the Laity Session, three of our talented Conference youth shared with us God’s mission – “pay attention to the red letters” – you know, those red words in the Bible attributed to Jesus! Our Conference Lay Leader defined the “mission field” for us as follows:
The Mission Field is calling you and I – we are all called, whether laity or clergy
The Mission Field will pull you out of your comfort zone
The Mission Field will change your perspective
The Mission Field is where the lost are found
The Mission Field is a command from God – see above scripture
The Mission Field is wherever you are – home, work, school, on line, gym, etc.
So, how are we moving forward in God’s mission in our own mission field, called the Alexandria District? I’m glad you asked. We live in a world of conflict, angst, and uncertainty; but we also live in the midst of God’s activity. Whether we can sense it or not, He is always at work around us. Jesus knew this. He reminds the Pharisees of this truth when they criticize his ministry … sound familiar? However, this is the key to Jesus’ peace and focus. He consistently spends time talking with the Father so that he can work in alignment with God. We continue to focus/align in both our district and bi-district activities on the mission and mission field – that’s why we provide varying opportunities to successfully start new faith communities, strengthen existing congregations through SHIFT+, move churches up a level with Next Level Innovations, and offering a novel concept called Neighborhood Seminary. Remember, the mission is ever before us and the mission field is “calling you / pulling you / changing you” … wherever you are!
John Meeuwissen, Lay Leader