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Light for the world – Mission and Ministry festival 2015

September 17, 2015

The Mission and Ministry Festival for 2015 had a slightly different format. Workshops were offered in the morning on mission (and the process of how churches can connect with local groups), or with time to find out more about the charities which were part of this year’s Lent Appeal. There were displays from World Mission charities and from Mothers’ Union in the Cathedral.

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The service to affirm both Lay Ministry and the World Mission of the church began at noon and was led by a variety of ministers, ordained and lay. Bishop John reflected on the collect and the readings. We prayed that we as God’s people would each be a child of light in work and witness. The Old Testament reading was taken from the book of Job (‘and I championed the cause of the stranger’), and the Gospel reading from Luke was the story of the rich man who was dressed in purple and Lazarus.

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Bishop John shared how sometimes what we do gets overshadowed by institutional church but this service was to note something which brings light. He wanted representatives of ministries who were there to take thanks back to all who are involved as we were marking what we really are about. The reading from Job describes the reaction of those to whom we go, and the whole book is about Job who remained faithful. We can turn challenges into opportunities as we remain faithful. The Gospel reading was also a clear message. The rich man who overlooked the poor was an insider, rooted in his religion. We rejoice in Jesus who has risen from death and our calling is to bring light. This is our true purpose, thanksgiving and giving at all times and in all places.

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Bishop John then presented cheques, each for more than £3000 to this year’s Lent Appeal Charities. Representatives of Faith in Families, the Mampong Babies Home, Alzheimer’s Wales and the Barnabas Fund received them and each expressed briefly their grateful thanks.

We renewed our commitment to be light for the world, and sang together “Christ, be our light! Shine in our hearts, shine through the darkness. Christ, be our light! Shine in your Church gathered today”, and Bishop John gave this blessing:

“May the light of God’s word give you vision; may the flame of God’s truth give you strength; may the power of God’s love give you joy; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be among you and remain with you always…”