An outward looking church – Report of the Council for Mission to Diocesan Synod
The Council for Mission’s online series continues on October 21.
The world needs a church that is missionally engaged both locally and globally now more than ever, those who gathered online for Dublin & Glendalough Diocesan Synods heard last week. Proposing the report of the Diocesan Council for Mission, the Revd Rob Clements said that there was a danger during Covid that the church would drift into maintenance mode.
The Council for Mission identified a need to support and encourage parishes to engage with mission during the challenges of Covid. “We wanted to: Promote good missional practice during unprecedented times and to keep our eyes looking out and not gazing inward or even downwards,” he said highlighting a number of initiatives the council had undertaken.
Firstly, in supporting the diocese’s Jerusalem partnership, a number of people (one on rollerblades) undertook to walk 100 kilometres – the distance from Gaza city to Jerusalem – raising €17,845 for Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza in the wake of the last conflict. Last August the Council also made a donation to the Diocese of Jerusalem to support relief work in Beirut following the explosion in the city’s port.
The Council also initiated a series of ‘Conversations About Mission’ on Zoom. The first conversation focused on reaching out the those at risk of domestic violence. The second takes place on October 21 at 8pm. The subject is ‘Invisible Pain’ Reaching Out to those who have not had space to grieve and lament during Covid 19’ and there will be input from Dr Tony Walsh and Canon Lesley Robinson who have been pioneering Dublin Bereavement Support Service. All are welcome to attend (email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a link).
Speaking to the report, Geoffrey McMaster (Celbridge and Straffan with Newcastle–Lyons) said that one of the big lessons of Covid was the importance of communication for the church. He urged all members of Synod to engage in the Conversations About Mission and take the opportunity to learn from them.
Canon Lesley Robinson highlighted the work of Dublin Bereavement Support Services which was founded loosely under the auspices of Clontarf Parish in March. Access to a number of counsellors is available through the DBSS website https://bereavementsupport.ie/ and it is free. Members of Synod were asked to remember this resource and recommend it to those who have been bereaved and are struggling in any way.
David Wynne (Sandford and St Philip’s) reminded members that POS Children’s Education Fund had funds to distribute to children who had lost one or both parents to assist with education and living.