Our basic purpose is to participate with Jesus in his renewal of all things in the neighbourhood and world.
What is God up to? In Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit, the Father is making all things new. This is happening through ‘the energy of reconciliation which is the dynamo at the centre of the universe ‘(Eugene Peterson). Despite our inherent human frailty, God chose to be with us, and through Jesus Christ, demonstrated what true humanity was to look like. Moreover, God chose to engage us as agents and partners in this massive restoration project that we call the kingdom of God. This is taking place in so many different ways and traditions, but we have chosen a framework that involves being faithfully present in three different places, and with seven basic practices. These cannot possibly capture all the ways in which God is as at work, and they are continually being nuanced, but, it is a beginning!
We have found ourselves in the God created and God inhabited neighbourhoods of Guelph. We see our mission playing out in three localities, centred by three tables (with thanks to David Fitch).
The first table is the eucharistic table. We are a people who worship together on Sunday nights, gathering around the Lord’s Table to participate in the Sacrament of God’s self-giving in Christ. We also listen for the Word of God through the scriptures, and engage in other symbolic actions which help us to remember and rehearse the story of grace shown in our creation, reconciliation, and ongoing recreation in Christ.
The second table features the Living Room and Learning Room tables. We gather in homes for meals and conversations that draw us deeper into friendship and spiritual formation in Christ. We also gather in different formats to study together in more focused areas of learning.
The third table is the community table. Here we choose to be faithfully present in the spaces of our neighbourhoods. We do this by participating with neighbours in the various homes, cafes, pubs, gardens, and neutral spaces where we all gather, and learn to recognize the Christ who is present with us.
Storytelling – Inhabiting the story of God as revealed in the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, inviting the authority of that story to shape our lives, and telling that story through creative and passionate living in God's world.
Friendship – Receiving and returning the friendship God has offered to us through Christ, and then helping one another listen, through the Holy Spirit, to what God is saying to us through faithful friendship with each other.
Culture Making – Living out of the Creator's imperative to steward the earth as a precious gift, through artful and faithful development of what we have been given.
Generosity – To live with open hands, allowing our resources to flow to our neighbours, serving and helping those who are in need, and resourcing God’s reconciling mission in the world.
Prayer – To be a people of prayer, practicing the spiritual disciplines in order that God might grow us into the full measure of Christ and his reign.
Celebrating the Table – Opening to the presence of Jesus when we gather at the tables of Eucharist, Living Rooms, and the neighbourhood.
Invitation – To live with the intention of including all those with ears to hear into the rhythms God has called us to in the parish.