I was pleased to be asked by Father Tim to introduce the topic of ‘mission’ and explore what that might mean. Part of the introduction was that there is both ‘internal’ and ‘external’ mission, in other words the continual growth of the Orthodox faithful is absolutely essential as the basis from which external mission flows. Orthodoxy is primarily a faith of lived growth…to paraphrase what Bishop Athanasios explained to me on the phone from the offices of the Patriarchate last week, “We do not wear the shoes we wore as a child.” So, external mission must first flow from continual internal renewal and maturation. After a broad discussion we rounded up and discussed practical ways that we might increase our visibility and induce others to experience Orthodoxy.
Here were some practical ideas:
1) We shall continue holding Orthodox vespers services in host parishes, as we had done in Nevern (I believe there is another scheduled for Newport).
2) We will strategically post our leaflets in key places within a twenty or thirty mile radius of Lampeter… I shall acquire a map for us to put pins in and a list of key places can be recorded as visited.
3) A boost was suggested for our Facebook and webpage to increase visibility – this incurs a fee of £20-£30. This might be better twinned with a particular event, service or open day.
4) If talks in local schools or community groups could be secured then that was encouraged.
5) If local media could cover an event (blessing of the waters, St Cybi’s well, Vespers service in host parish, school talk, prison visit, community project?) then that would increase our visibility significantly.
I’ll get a visitor book also to harvest as many old and new contacts as possible. If you have not yet added your details to the Lampeter Orthodox Church contacts list then please do send them to Hellier Johns at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve expanded on some of these ideas a bit from points 3-5 but the germ of it was there during the discussion.
Your prayers in Christ.