Greetings from sunny Winnipeg!
I was blessed this week to be able to participate in a national conference of the Anglican Church of Canada here in beautiful Winnipeg, Manitoba. It was three solid days of presentations, discussions, and workshops with church leaders from all over Canada. The focus of the conference was the question of how to help our parishes become increasingly vital and healthy communities of spiritual growth and gospel mission. It was an excellent conference, and I’m really excited to share what I’ve learned here with the people of our parish and diocese.
Something that came up again and again at this conference was the fact that vital and healthy parishes come in every size, shape and colour. For all of their variety, however, there are at least two things which they all have in common: 1) transformation, and 2) hospitality.
No matter how big or small or traditional or contemporary both the research and the personal experience of church-goers and church leaders confirm that vital and healthy parishes have transformation as an essential part of who they are. This includes both the personal experiences of transformation in the lives of the people in these churches, and the commitment of each of these churches to the mission of encouraging positive transformation in the life of the wider world.
Similarly, every vital and healthy church has hospitality as an essential value. They are places and communities in which others feel welcome because hospitality has been made a priority.
Our gospel this Sunday (Luke 7:36-8:3) has a lot to say about both transformation and hospitality, and I believe it shows us how a transformational relationship with Jesus inspires hospitality. I hope you’re able to join us as we explore the relationship between transformation and hospitality and what these things together might mean for the vitality and health of our church life together.
David Turner +