Canberra-Goulburn's Anglican Bishop has called on church-goers to engage a diverse and sometimes divided world with the love and truth of truth of Jesus.
"We live in a world where we increasingly differ from each other, as globalisation brings us into greater contact with a diversity of experience and worldviews. We are increasingly a world where we differ with each other. Sometimes alongside, sometimes in reaction to globalisation there is a re-assertion of the local and the particular", said Bishop Mark Short is his opening address to the Diocesan Synod in Goulburn.
Bishop Short said that rather than retreating from the world or erecting barriers between them and the world Christians needed to move out into their neighbourhoods and communities.
"I suggest three ways in which we can engage our world with the love and truth of Jesus.
- seeing what matters to God - encountering the world's needs with mercy and compassion. No longer is it about choosing to be with the people we want to love; instead it's loving the people we do not choose to be with.
- hearing what matters to God - modelling an approach to faith-sharing that begins with careful listening and proceeds through a shared journey around the story of Jesus revealed in Scripture.
- feeling what matters to God - encountering Jesus in Scripture and the shared life of following him with an open-ness to recognition and transformation."
The Bishop hopes to implement this pattern of see/hearing/feeling in 2020 in a number of missions. Working in partnership with churches and agencies he envisages a period of engagement that involves: (i) meeting with members of the wider community to help us see the needs around them; (ii) inviting members of the wider community from all backgrounds into a conversation about questions of faith; (iii) welcoming members of the wider community to an experience of hospitality where they have an opportunity to meet Jesus.
The Anglican Diocese of Canberra Goulburn covers all of the Australian Capital Territory, the South Coast from Batemans Bay to the Victorian border, the Goulburn and Southern Tablelands Regions and the South-West Slopes, including Young, Wagga Wagga and Tumut. The Diocesan Synod meets once a year and consists of over 275 representatives of parishes, Diocesan Schools and agencies.