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Empowering Missional Discipleship at St Simon's

Empowering Missional Discipleship at St Simon's

Fri 5 May 2017

In 2016 St Simon’s (Kaleen/ Giralang/Lawson) agreed to support a new model of pioneer ministry led by Assistant Minister Reverend Tracey Matthews. This was made possible through a small grant from the Pelican Foundation as it seeks to promote the development of Missional Discipleship across the diocese. This new model of ministry is entitled Engage and builds on Tracey’s ministry experience and academic research in recent years.

In 2015 Tracey was awarded the Beatrice Robinson Scholarship at St Mark’s where she was completing a Master of Theology. This enabled her to research emerging models of missional discipleship in both the US and UK and connect with a range of innovative communities.

This has culminated in the Engage model of missional community which she has been cultivating over the last six months. The model of mission is underpinned by the two great commandments that lie at the heart of the Christian way: to love God with heart, soul, mind and strength; and to love one’s neighbour as one’s self (Mk:29-31). As Lesslie Newbigin said, “what the Lord left behind Him was not a book, a creed, nor a system of thought, nor a rule of life, but a visible community”. Missional Discipleship is not a program or a method but a way of life.

Engage is underpinned by three core pillars of practice. Transformative Spirituality that changes, renews and restores us to God from the inside-out. Authentic Community where we come as we are to share and live out our common life in Christ. Prophetic Action where we use our gifts to strengthen justice, healing and social transformation in our world. Held together, these three pillars promote a holistic faith that helps us to live out the two great commandments.

As part of this project around 20 parishioners have commenced a seven-month ‘missional discipleship’ journey. Tracey has designed a program that brings together contemporary missional theology and practice with a
deep missional spirituality. The action/reflection model will empower
parishioners to embody the gospel through missional discipleship
that is contextual and conducive to everyday life. This will build on existing ministries at St Simon’s and identify new pathways for incarnational mission.

by Reverend Tracey Matthews

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