St Mary’s exists to make disciples. Intentional, whole-life disciples.
This is the goal of everything we do. All the programs, all the services, all the volunteering, all the prayers, all the giving, all the meetings, all the money, all the fun and all the work. All we want to do is to help each other, in community, to be with Jesus, to become like Jesus and to do the things that Jesus did.
We recognise that this kind of change, this kind of transformation is not simply a matter of decision or will. It is the work of grace and a work of the Holy Spirit.
But we want to collaborate and cooperate with God in this work and we aim to make everything we do help us to do this more and more.
In this part of the Discipleship Pathway each of us are encouraged to take the next steps in our life in Christ. This means rearranging our lives around the practices of Jesus and embarking on a life-long journey of learning under Jesus, our teacher.
Here are some of the practices on offer at St Mary’s to help us grow, mature and deepen our relationship with God.
4mation Groups (4+) are groups of 2-4 people that meet regularly (usually once a week) for an hour or so, to help each person become more intentional in doing what Jesus wants them to do in their lives. People who are part of such a groups want to grow spiritually and the aim of the group is build up spiritual strength and vitality by focusing attention of 4 things:
- Engaging in simple practices or disciplines that make a difference
- Seeking to encourage the use of each person’s God given gifts
- Actively working towards the development of character
- Openly and honestly being accountable to each other
Sundays are important to us as a church community and, as far as we are able, and in contrast to the culture around us, we seek to keep it holy and special – set apart from the rest of the week. In this spacious sabbath we take the opportunity to gather as a wider family to worship, to break bread together, to pray, and to receive teaching from Scripture.
We believe that the bible is a unified story that leads to Jesus and we want to grow and mature in our understanding and our dependence on scripture so that it shapes every part of our lives.
If, by any chance you happen to miss a week, you can catch up online.
Learning for the whole of life
Jesus is Lord. And we want to make him Lord of every part of our lives – our internal worlds, our thinking and feelings, our behaviour and actions, our attitudes to money, sex and relationships, how we move beyond our failures and mistakes and how we begin to adapt our lives to the reality of the Kingdom of God.
To help us in this, St Mary’s regularly hosts a range of learning opportunities and courses to help us at different stages of faith and life. We call this ‘Learning for the whole of life’.
As a community we don’t have a fixed pattern to our daily worship and prayer as each of us is on our own journey with God, but currently a number of us are learning to start the day with the following prayer which was originally penned by John Eldredge. It’s powerful and makes a difference.
We also recommend using the Church of England Morning Prayer App which you can download to your phone.EMAIL RICHARD