Living and proclaiming God’s restoring love
St Catherine’s Mission Action Plan (MAP) from Autumn 2015
Relfecting on a prayer we used on a parish retreat, “O Lord, Your ocean is so vast and yet our boat so very small” we recognise that God’s plans are indeed vast and our MAP is just our small role in His Plan. This MAP comes from Scripture, words of prophecy, song lyrics and stories that we have shared in St Cath’s and it is the role of everyone to listen to the Lord as life is brought to this vision. The Pontypridd PCC is to take note of the MAP in their planning and our St Cath’s Church Committee and staff are to use it as a guide to our work. The Vicar is a catalyst to effect change as we live out each plan and is supported in our prayers to develop the work into which the Lord is leading for him and the teams. Each part of the MAP has actions which may be targeted for the short term (S), Medium term (M) or Long term (L).
- Worship the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness
We want to have a greater desire to be absorbed by God and not by churchiness, to have a rich inner life dependent on the presence of God. Patterned form the story of Abraham in covenant with the LORD, and using the illustrations from the great West window in church, we’ve seen how God our heavenly Father is our Protector and Provider. We’ve been excited by Roy Godwin’s book “The Grace Outpouring” which encourages us to look to God as the One who longs for people to be blessed by Him. At times when we’ve found paths ahead challenging or blocked, we have learnt that when the LORD calls a plan, he also enables this to come into being – Psalm 107:16 “… he breaks down the gates of bronze and shatter the bars of iron”.
- In worship services we’ll celebrate diversity of styles & traditions to be accessible to newcomers, expand our experience & bridge to other church traditions in Ponty. We will nurture music. ACTION: develop our sound system (S); print new worship music books (S); send musicians on training (M); involve more drama and dance in worship (M)
- We seek a practical edge to our sermons and encourage people to meet in the weekly small groups ACTION: we want small groups to be to priority in people’s spiritual growth so we will develop various small groups with a different focus (e.g. more Bible study, more prayer, more sharing) and use testimony on how people are growing in faith and benefitting from small groups (S/M); to grow new small groups within the parish of Pontypridd (M); create sermon series on topics that parishioners are talking about (M); train people who are already preaching or could be (M); use the evening Sunday services for practical teaching (M)
- We want to promote the interaction between congregations and foster a stronger sense of inter-connection & fellowship. ACTION: create a team who can put on social events, possibly with the new parish structure (M)
- We will cultivate our prayer life, to listen and to intercede. ACTION: develop a monthly prayer and fasting day that coincides with the Saturday Evangelism on the Streets (S); use more testimonies of people who have found the effect of prayer in their life. (S) train more people to lead the prayers on Sundays and use more extemporary prayers (S); put up helpful direction on praying at the icon area church (S) offer parish retreats that instils God’s Presence and encourage groups to informally plan time away together on retreat (L)
- In our stewardship we are to be caught up in our every-day worship and will promote a sacrificial attitude to the Lord, including giving of time, prayer, money, joy. ACTION: use sermons and testimony to celebrate the generosity of the LORD and to encourage regular & realistic giving (S/M/L); increase the number of people using gift direct (M) consult with the diocese on financial matters (S) find and develop a support Treasurer role (S); encourage those on limited incomes to use energy to fundraise for church finances (M)
- Our building is a place to encounter God’s holiness. ACTION: Develop a visitor trail around the church based on the windows and other areas, in the long-term one which can be accessed on our website (M/L) Put up a new notice board near the main entrance (S) Carry out the quinquennial repairs and work with the architect for on-going projects (S, M L); remove the organ and create a new storage area (M); install new lighting and heating (M); tidy up the car park area (M); form a building committee to take sole responsibility away from the vicar (S); form volunteer group to maintain the grounds and deep clean the interior (L).
- Proclaim to the broken the good news that Jesus transforms life.
God is relentless in the pursuit of lost people and we want to join in his mission. We had a prophetic message of St Cath’s like a late summer garden border of plants full of seeds being dispersed in different ways: shooting off, dropped, stuck to animals, helicoptering away… As we’ve been struck by the words of the hymn ‘God of this city’, where God’s compassion is on those in need, we keep returning to scriptures of renewal: Isaiah 61:1-3a (New International Version) and Isaiah 58: 12 (The Message)
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair… You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community liveable again.
- The last few years have seen us focus on evangelism as a way of life and on special events. ACTION: the evangelism committee will co-ordinate regular teaching themes (M); Commit to monthly Street Work and invite other Christians to join in, keep on the agenda Healing on the Streets or some other regular presence in town (M); Plan monthly guest services in the evening to which we can invite people and build up the habit of folk from the cafe, CAP and friends coming along (M); Plan a monthly healing cafe where the focus is on listening to God and prayer for healing (M); we will seek to plan with other churches for evangelistic events in the community (S/M/L)
- Connect Cafe will continue as a hub for community projects where people connected with Church, the Gospel and encountered Jesus. ACTION Support the cafe manager as she creates more opportunities for volunteering and look for ways to promote/advertise the cafe in the locality (S/M); take time in thanking the volunteers and connecting them into faith (S/M); look for funding to create a second part time post that can manage the café for Tina to spend time with those volunteers with particular needs to be trained (e.g. those with mental health issues) (S/M) create a new regular Cafe Saturday with activities for families including promotion of CAP and offers of prayer (S); be open and receptive to new groups wishing to hire the rooms, especially community groups (M) upgrade the furniture and install a proper bar/counter (M)
- Strengthen and extend our partnership with Christians Against Poverty’s Debt work, Job Club, Release, Money Course. ACTION: Present this to the church as a core value of St Catherine’ and encourage folk to prayer, fund and volunteer (L); strive to secure funding for these ministries to be sustainable (M); be passionate about praying for the clients in the ministries and for them to come to faith – design events to which they can be invited and cultivate friendships (M) Continue to financially support the CAP work and fundraise (L)
- Continue work on the Memorial Garden as a place for families to find healing. ACTION: create a data base of Friends of the Garden and form this develop a team to take care of the garden and use the list to folk to seasonal events like Easter Egg hunt, carols (M) set up a team to manage the garden so the Vicar can step back a bit (S)
- Schools work will develop as Trish takes on a new role in Pontypridd parish. ACTION: Support Trish in prayer and use her to train up people for St Cath’s to take into schools (M) support Peter as he connects to Pontshonorton Welsh language school & Ponty High (S); encourage local schools to use our Godly Play resource, keep our practitioners trained up for this (M)
- The Toddlers’ Groups are very popular and many from here are bridging over into Messy Church. ACTION: Set up a committee from the users to help run and plan the group (S); Encourage more connection between church and the group for families (S); Promote the Parenting Course held at Toddlers (S) find more volunteers to support Trish in the practical side of setting up and hospitality in the Todder groups (S)
- After three years of serving, many have left the Street Pastors and Prayer Pastors team. ACTION Continue to promote this as a key place of church working together and invite people to train, taking them out on taster nights (M)
- Pontypridd Foodbank now operates out of the cafe on weekdays and has a small team to welcome clients. ACTION: The team will offer more time to interact with the clients and understand/meet their underlying needs (M)
- People who are homeless are offered a welcome and support at St Cath’s through the cafe and befriending. ACTION: Keep good links with The Grange, Mill Street Hostel, RCT homes, the Sunday night cafe at St David’s United Church, staff to meet up with representatives (S/M/L).
- We are established in the Civic life of Pontypridd and we want to keep a generous connection to the RCT for Christmas carols and to the Town Council for Remembrance Sunday and civic events. ACTION: Peter to meet up with the town mayor, RCT Mayor, MP and Assembly Member to catch up and offer prayer (M).
- Live as a community of followers equipped and sent by the Holy Spirit’s gifting.
Whilst we are disciples who follow Jesus, we want to identify ourselves as apostles, people who are sent into everyday situations with Jesus’ Kingdom D.N.A. in us so we can act as agents of God’s blessing. In the vicarage garden is a pond where dragonfly settle and live their two year cycle of eggs hatching into water-breathing larvae-like beetles in the pond which eventually climb out of the water and pupate on the leaves of plants above the water level where they emerge as dragonflies. Peter has noticed that for several weeks the larvae-like beetles float on the water and appear dead, but this is a time when the insides of the larvae body are undergoing great metamorphosis and changing their bodies from breathing in the water to breathing in the air which will then allow them to climb onto the leaves and fully transform into the flying insect. This metamorphosis is like the Holy Spirit’s work transforming us from believers who breathe and operate under our own resources to breathing and operating through the Spirit’s gifting. Our prayer, from the New Wine song, “Sprit Fall”, is a longing for that encounter to be life-changing in us so we can better serve.
- The new Parish of Pontypridd will bring a different structure to church authority. ACTION: We want to engage with the new PCC and church committees and be people who can learn from and inspire others in the new parish. We recognise that we much experience and gifts that could be shared with other congregations and want to build up the whole parish; we will seek to gradually share and learn with other congregations and see how we can combine and form new ministries of parishoners (L) We want to develop a leadership culture where everyone has potential to exercise a kingdom influence. We will use a programme such as the CPAS Growing Leaders Course, maybe with other local churches so that responsibility for certain areas like prayer ministry/ children’s work/ nurturing new Christians/outreach can be led by small teams (M)
- We continue to see other denominations as central to our own identity, church life and mission. ACTION: We will consult and share with other churches on new projects to seek partnerships and support (L); We will regularly invite speakers from other churches to take part in our ministry and when events are laid on by other churches we will promote them (L) We will look to meet with other churches in their buildings and bless what the Lord is doing amongst them as in the 5th Sunday (S/M/L)
- Prayer ministry is offered in various ways in church. ACTION: Set up a trained team who will offer this on each Sunday (S) We will build into our services times of quiet openness to the Sprit to direct us and invite the congregation to share what God might be saying (S/M) Our evening services will have a more flexible structure where gifts of the Spirit will be encouraged as a teaching/testing space for parish life (S/M/L)
- Our visit to Mbale in Easter 2015 strengthened our links with Namatala Parish Church. ACTION: Regularly keep in touch with the parish via the internet and keep their concerns in our prayers (L); financially support Vicar Michael in his University Education(M); plan to bring Vicar Michael over to Wales in 2016 and see if there are ways that Namatala parish need specific support that we can provide (M).
- Students seldom seem to naturally connect to town centre churches without Christian Union links, but are welcomed into the life of St Cath’s when they do make contact. ACTION: Keep alert to students in our congregations and to offer them hospitality and friendship, encourage them to take part in areas to which they are suited (L).
- We have started to direct our Youth to the weekly events of Pontypridd Churches Youth (PCY). ACTION: Pray for the right person to come who can nurture the youth in church on a Sunday morning, integrate the youth into church life and ministry (S) look for ways to support & encourage the PCY ministry (S/M)
- Messy Church has proved very useful in gathering in families with younger children connected through Toddlers and the Cafe and Friendships. ACTION The Messy Church team are to be encouraged to continue to grow this and create additional opportunities to meet with the families e.g. holiday clubs, meals, fund days. We want to capitalise on these friendships where people are being led into church (M) respond to the youth on the streets of the town in providing assistance and befriending, like Street Pastors to (L)
- Children’s Groups are on Sunday morning and also Kids’ club on Tuesday. ACTION: Encourage those who are in leadership of these groups and pray for the right person to come who can co-ordinate the Sunday work (S) Allow for the children work to be led and planned by teams rather than most responsibility falling on Trish (S/M)
- In addition to local churches there are links we want to strengthen to wider Christian movements. ACTION: Positively promote The Lavish Women’s Group, links to The Valleys New Wine Leader’s Network (M) take a parish group to New Wine Summer Conference in 2016 (M) take the staff on the New Wine Cymru Leaders Conference (S)
- We are grateful to many volunteers who support the administration at St Cath’s. The new parish is seeking a paid position that will administer much of the parish work that Peter currently undertakes in the hiring of rooms and completing of diocesan forms. ACTION: Employment of a part-time administrator who will also create a data-base to assist communication with people in various parish groups/connections (M) use the mezzanine floor for storage of the new parish documents ((S)
- With more Staff employed and more leaders anticipated as well as the new Parish structure, we want to ensure that our staff are cared for and supported. ACTION: We ensure regular staff meetings & staff prayers and have away days & reviews to create a dynamic team (L). We will look for a staff mentor who can catch up with everyone as a critical friend. (M). We will send staff who want to go on the Willow Creek Leaders Training in Autumn (L)
- A good sense of Welcome that people receive is vital. ACTION: Create a role of Welcome Officer who can immediately follow up new-comers to church and those who are taking an interest in coming to St Cath’s. They can link up newcomers with other suitable church folk to knit together friendships, keep the Welcome packs updated and the Welcome Team vibrant. (S)
- The Pastoral care of church members will be something that can be co-ordinated across the new parish, including improving our service to people in residential care, housebound folk and those not well. ACTION: put on new training, recruit extra visitors, work with other parishes (S/M). Start up a phone based buddy system (M)
- Occasional Offices. Whilst our Marriage preparation is well planned, we are more undeveloped in the opportunities for nurturing those who come for baptism and thanksgivings. ACTION Across the new parish, we will set up a team to help instruct and befriend those who come for these occasional offices. (M). have a planned event to which we can invite those couples who’ve been recently married in church (S/M) make better use of our contacts through baptisms and thanksgivings of children so they can be invited to Messy Church and other key events (S/M) Link with other churches in the parish and offer a united quiet event to invite those for whom we’ve taken funeral service of family members (S/M)
- Whilst there is some Welsh in all our services, we acknowledge the need for a fuller church experience for those who are Welsh speakers. ACTION To encourage Welsh speakers into the local monthly Welsh Prayer and Praise held in Graigwen (L).
Adopted by the PCC in September 2015