Fr. Armstrong 3
I have a dream of a Church that focusses lest on status and more on mission outreach. The Church, through its dedicated clergy, has done some very good work in the community, but many people do not know, because the Church often does not tell. That should change. Think of our Lord’s injunction in St. Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before people that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father in Heaven.” Tell of your good works for the glory of God. If you do not already have a ‘Press Officer’, then appoint one, to begin to tell of the Church’s outreach mission to the least and the lost: the illiterate, ex-prisoners, ex-prostitutes, deportees, etc.
I have a dream of the Church having an outreach programme to children in Primary Schools with reading difficulties, by inviting retired educators in the Church to exercise stewardship of time and talent in helping them to be able to read, and ultimately be able to cope with their studies and avoid delinquency. Educators know that literacy problems among youth are the basic cause of crime.
I have a dream of the Anglican Diocese having an outreach to ex-prisoners through what I call a Barnabas Second Chance Programme, based on the story in Acts 9: 26 about Barnabas’ introducing Paul to the Church. Maybe, some of the former rectories, now abandoned, can be repaired with the help of people who can use them for training programmes, etc. Vacant lots, ever so small, can be rented to interested people to grow food.
I have a dream of the Church providing an opportunity to former prostitutes who want to change their lives and method of making a living in order to feed their children. There are those who just need help in making a new start. The Church is the best place from which to seek help because any serious request should be met with compassion and confidentiality. Remember that ‘street woman’ called Mary Magdalene? Because her real need for genuine love met with the unconditional and life-transforming love of Jesus, she became the first real ‘Apostle’, sent by Jesus to tell the others of her Resurrection experience with Him.