Last week Readers and Clergy met on line and in person, and celebrated being together at this year’s Diocesan Gathering.  Spanning three days, ministers from across Greater Lincolnshire joined for worship, keynote addresses, workshops, and expressed themselves artistically and creatively, all with a focus on the theme The Ministry We Share.  And, there was time to simply catch up with friends and colleagues. 

Initial planning for this Gathering was done at a time when we couldn’t confidently announce an in-person event, but we believed it was important to offer a programme, and were delighted when it became clear we could indeed include face to face opportunities too.  Thank you for the feedback we have so far received.  We are grateful for all that was offered, for the reflection and discussion the content prompted, and thankful too that there was a measure of being inspired, challenged, and blessed – personally and vocationally.

Bishop Stephen gave three keynote addresses which were recorded, and you can access them via the links below.  As you can see, we have added possible questions for personal reflection, or, you might use them within a discussion group from your parish or Deanery:

1. Working Together is a Theological Imperative –

Possible Reflection and Discussion Questions

- How well does the ‘body’ picture describe your experience of ministry?

- What are the obstacles to working together effectively as one body?

- Why do some feel they don’t belong to the body at all?

2. Our Diversity is a Gift –

Possible Reflection and Discussion Questions

- What differences between people do you encounter in ministry?

- How do you react emotionally to diversity in church life?

- If diversity is a gift, how do we best thank God for our disagreements

3. Becoming a ‘Culture of Partnership’ –

Possible Reflection and Discussion Questions

- How would you describe the culture of your church and this Diocese?

- What sort of culture do you think God wants the church to be/have?

- Can you see ways in which your ministry might influence the culture?

We are already thinking about next year’s Gathering and look forward to welcoming delegates to what we hope will be an in-person event.  Thank you to all those who came this time around, and who contributed in any way.  Seeing each other, even on-screen, reminds us that, as Bishop Stephen said, ‘diversity is at the heart of human existence’.  And, as he also reminded us, working together as the Body of Christ, recognising our need of one another, and constantly building trust in one another, will help us to create a safe space in which we are more and more able to share faithfully, confidently, and joyfully the Good News of God’s love.