St Michael's Church, Camberley
Our Purpose, Vision, and Values
Bruce Nicole, our Vicar, writes:
THE PURPOSE OF ST MICHAEL’S:
“To Encounter God and Grow in Him”
This can be read two ways. We all need to have that personal encounter, and the church exists to make it easier for that to happen for people, and to help them to grow in the knowledge and experience of God. But we never think that we have ‘arrived’; we each need that daily encounter and growth, as individuals and as a community.
“A Growing Community of Faith”
We see ourselves in the coming years as growing in numbers, having three distinct but complementary congregations, expanding membership of our small groups, doing a good job to reach out to children and young people, being financially secure and providing for the future of the building that we have been entrusted with.
1. Christ at the Centre
We believe that it is possible and necessary for us each to have a personal relationship with our risen Lord Jesus. Through Him we have access to the Father, and receive the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We take our bearings and direction from our growing understanding of who He is, and how he would like this world to be. We acknowledge that we fail in every way to live the perfect life, but we gratefully accept forgiveness and his presence in our lives to help us to change for the better. We aim to allow Jesus to be central in our individual lives and in the life of our Church community. We recognise that we have no power to change ourselves, but even this comes from Jesus.
2. Every member a Disciple
A disciple is a follower of Jesus. We value each individual, and encourage him or her to make progress on their spiritual journey. We recognise each of us starts from a different position, and has different needs and perceptions. We do not seek to impose a single understanding of what it means to be modelled on Jesus, but encourage each individual to seek after the path that Christ has called them to follow.
3. Every member in Ministry
Just as we each individually have special needs and unique perceptions, so we each have particular abilities and gifts to contribute. We believe that individuals thrive when their gifts are recognised and utilised, and that this helps us in our journey of growth and exploration to be more like Jesus. In addition, others round us are helped when they benefit as we exercise the particular ministries that God has entrusted to us. While Ministry has traditionally been understood as the preserve of the Ordained or specially recognised, we affirm that a kind word, a listening ear, or a cup of water given in the name of the Lord, is to minister in his name. We all do it.
4. A Community of Sacrificial Love
Each individual is so important that God has placed us in communities so that we might give and receive mutual help and encouragement, and none be left to fend for themselves. Because we are all different, we recognise that we must spend time understanding where we each come from, and also be prepared to make adjustments and allowances for the perceived needs and concerns of others. As we work together to discern our Father God’s will for the St Michael’s church community, we will not always get our own preference in every area. This will seem like sacrifice. As we spend time with individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds, we will encounter more closely people who we would not normally be drawn to, and we will seek to act lovingly towards them for Christ’s sake.
5. The Church must Grow
Following on from the above, we believe that it is such a privilege to have been brought into this experience of Christ’s love, that we cannot keep it to ourselves. Christ’s last command to his followers on earth was to “make disciples, baptizing them … and teaching them every thing he has commanded us”. As we are each disciples or followers of Christ, and as we each have our own gifts and abilities, we each also have friends and loved ones to whom we can show his love. This might occasionally be through formal ‘evangelism events’ but will be most naturally through our prayers, everyday kindnesses and responses to enquiries from them. We have confidence that He will reach out with His love through us to those who are seeking to know Him.
Copyright © St Michaels Church, Camberley, 2006 --- Menu provided by Milonic