In ten years’ time we will be a denomination where each congregation has taken significant steps to safeguard the integrity of creation, to sustain and renew the life of the earth.

The changing climate and its consequences for all life on planet earth cannot be over emphasised as the most significant underlying issue of our time. Being an intergenerational community of faith that trusts in the God of creation past, present and to come, it is vital that the church recognizes the reality and fear present in environmental debates and lives hopefully in the present climate. Too often the ‘prophets’ who see the truth and challenge for change are outside the church. Our churches, reflecting faith in God the creator and sustainer of life in all its fullness, must discover the radical voice of care for the earth that is supported by the way we live.

We will know if we are on the right track by:

  1. The number of local churches who have undertaken an environmental audit and are implementing some form of resulting action plan. 
  2. The churches that in worship, bible study and prayer give voice to the God whose life and love is expressed in all creation. 
  3. The number of congregations that are engaged with people in their local communities and globally over issues of environmental care, sharing concerns, contributing the insights of the Christian faith, co-operating with others in finding more sustainable patterns of life together.

Image09In ten years’ time we will be a church that keeps faith with the poor and challenges injustice.

The gospel calls us to work against poverty and the structures that keep people oppressed. Together with our ecumenical partners we need to influence those in power and equip local congregations to take action against everything that undermines or destroys fullness of life. If the church, local, across the UK, and international, is to be part of a movement for change in our world, it will need to discern and understand the contexts in which we live and the issues which affect us. Only by developing a sound reputation for intelligent critique and co-ordinated action will we be able to challenge unjust structures and seek economic justice from the local to the global marketplace.

We will know if we are on the right track by:

  1. The number of churches that actively participate in at least one Joint Public Issues Team campaign each year. 
  2. The number of churches engaged ecumenically in action against poverty and social exclusion in their local communities. 
  3. The number of practitioners and campaigners in local churches involved in a network around these issues. 
  4. The number of synods that have endorsed and are monitoring the implementation of the revised ethical investment policy of the URC.

IMG 1354In ten years’ time we will be more confident to engage in evangelism, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God with friends, families and strangers, through story and action.

We need to re-claim an understanding and practice of evangelism. Learning to tell the Christian story and our ever evolving stories of faith, needs to be a regular part of church life, so that disciples of all ages are equipped and encouraged to share the good news of Jesus Christ in their daily lives. Equipped with a robust and reflective knowledge of the Bible and a commitment to openness, our churches will be communities where faith is explored and the questions of the present day engaged with. The call to ‘go’ into the world and ‘make’ new disciples (Matthew 28:19) being heard and taken up with imagination and creativity.

We will know if we are on the right track by:

  1. The number of churches taking up the opportunity of the Vision4Life or God is Still Speaking projects for congregational development.
  2. The number of churches drawing on synod (staff) resources for evangelism for training and networking.
  3. The number of congregations planning and carrying out activities whose primary function is to share the gospel.

In ten years’ time we will be a church that is an active partner in God’s global mission with other churches around the world.

We will continue our active participation in the world church, knowing that together we will more faithfully discern God’s action and call, and that by sharing our resources we will be able to respond obediently and effectively in the costly struggle for peace with justice.

We will know if we are on the right track by:

  1. The number of churches with direct links with a church overseas. 
  2. The number of synods linked to a Council for World Mission (CWM) member church or other global partner. 
  3. The number of churches sharing in Commitment for Life.

IMG 1918In ten years’ time we will be more confident in our identity, valuing the treasures of our tradition, discerning when to seek ecumenical partnerships, and when and how to seek the further unity of the church.

A lot has developed ecumenically since our unions in 1972, 1981 and 2000; the focus has changed from seeking further union to forming a wide variety of partnerships – at local and national levels. Whilst our instincts remain deeply rooted in seeking further unity, we do not believe our dreams are served well by lacking in confidence, purpose and identity. Being confident in ourselves and working with others are not mutually exclusive; on the contrary, celebrating and offering our many gifts will make our partnerships stronger and may speed the way to further union.

We will know if we are on the right track by:

  1. The number of churches in Local Ecumenical Partnerships.
  2. The number of churches involved in working with ecumenical partners.

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