Looking Up, Looking Beyond

The Christchurch Missions Festival - A Great Success!

4 June 2013

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We had a lot of excitement last year when we started to plan our mission festival. It was great to focus on celebrating our Diocese’s involvement with overseas mission and think of sharing this inspirational involvement with our Mission Motivators.

Over the months until the actual day of the festival we had times of doubt which really cooled our excitement. How could we 4 manage this? What could we plan as a celebration of God’s mission overseas that will give all who attend that something to take home that will be built upon? We invited others onto our planning team. What happened on the day has truly been a big blessing, a great blessing from God!

On the afternoon/evening of the 25th May we had two bishops speaking passionately about active overseas mission involvement. We had testimonies from those who have just gone overseas in a mission involvement and heard how they have been inspired.

After the tea break a panel answered those questions posed by local parishes concerning their involvements in the mission overseas. To give a humorous contrast a drama team gave this festival a look at an uninspiring way to involve local parishioners. Bishop Victoria spoke towards the end on Matthew 28:16-20; she started by saying “I speak to stimulate thought… and prayer on mission… and more… to inspire courageous action.”

The festival concluded with +Victoria commissioning those Mission Motivators able to attend. A crowd of 280 listened and followed the festival programme with great interest; before the evening finished there came queries about the next one!

As we review this festival we continue with a lot of excitement. We remember the many, many inspiring points:

  • Matthew 28:17 says so honestly that some doubted, but that did not stop the task of God’s mission proceeding.
  • Jesus came to us in the flesh and still the world continues to crave people in the flesh. Going in the flesh to others gives them a value most dear!
  • A really big task to face as God’s mission partner is that of relocation, its difficult enough to locate to another area even more difficult to live in that new area as one with them.
  • How can a parish which struggles economically to survive support its great desire of overseas mission? Learn the joy of giving! When only money is given often the personal relationship is disempowered. If you can’t go, send someone else.

Then what lies ahead is exciting too!

The network initiated in this event is very rich. It has been a true blessing to hear the different participants of the festival sharing that same focus – it’s the mission that Jesus leads and models that is our springboard. So with those at the festival we say get up close, stay in close proximity and it will be a lot easier to grow the mission that Jesus leads.

Bob Henderson
Diocesan Council for World Mission