the end of a chapter

The Commission for Mission is transitioning into a new unit as part of a Synod restructure. I wrote this reflection for the final meeting of the Board yesterday, to be read alongside a video of the work that’s been done over the last 30 years of the CFMs life. It’s a remarkable story of tenacity, imagination, prophetic vision and courage. The work my colleagues do is such a gift to the church and the world. Even though much of the work will continue, we wanted to honour the particular form it’s taken over this time.

This is the video – it’s headlines from various publications since 1987: cfm_finalvideo

The VicTas Synod has been writing its story of faith for the last 40 years.

Over the last 30 years, the CFM has written its own chapter in that story.

Using words of faith that have been entrusted to us,
like justice
and generosity

we have written stories of blessing
stories of life
and stories of hope.

They don’t always make for easy reading.
Some of the pages of the last 30 years are so full of mistakes and crossings-out that they are virtually impossible to read
sometimes a plot line faded to nothing
and we were left with an awkward ending that didn’t do justice to its promise.

One some of the pages, all that’s written is bullet points,
ideas that didn’t come to fruition;
brilliant lines that seemed so perfect
but that we couldn’t make fit with the whole of the story.

There are also times, if we’re honest, when the reading is dull,
the characters seem tired,
and the same sentences are repeated over and over and over.
Slow moving plots that some would see only as dull and boring
but could also be described as determined, relentless, tenacious.

And then there were times when the writing flowed,
with words given shape by the ink of pure audacity
weaving a plot line of hope and transformation;
stories made possible by courage, and faith-full prayer,
stories made possible by each of you.

And while the CFM’s chapter in the Synod’s faith story is ending,
the words that have shaped our story will continue to be used in the next,
words of justice

still writing stories of blessing,
stories of life,
and stories of hope,
into tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that.