Thursday, April 16, 2015

Bishop’s Note: April 16, 2015 – DSJ Strategic Goals

Bishop Eric Menees

Alleluia Christ is risen!  The Lord is risen indeed.  Alleluia!  

This week marks a new series in my Bishop’s Note.
In March your Bishop and Diocesan Council, after a good deal of prayer and study, set out a series of Strategic Goals for the diocese for 2015. These goals fall under five categories of long-term strategic goals which set out the overarching plan for accomplishing our vision: Focus on Clergy and Lay Leaders; Continuous Improvement of Ministries & Missions; Professional Development of Clergy and Lay Leaders; and Financial Outcomes. The particulars of each of these goals have been shared with the clergy at the Mass of Chrism, and I’m asking the Rural Deans to bring these up at the upcoming Clericus meetings. Next week they will be shared with the Diocesan Standing Committee, and over the next several weeks I will be unpacking them with you - the people of the Diocese of San Joaquin - in an effort to clearly communicate our goals, solicit your assistance, and be accountable to you.

1  To provide clergy and lay leaders a variety of tools to bring people to – and disciple them – in Christ.

Evangelism and discipleship are absolutely fundamental to our Vision and Mission as a diocese and are required by Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew: “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’ (Matthew 28:18-20 ESV)

Bringing people to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ must be of the highest priority for all Christians, but especially for me as your bishop and for the leaders of this diocese! This is accomplished by first recognizing that the scriptures are true and that at our death one of two paths exists for all people: Heaven or Hell. The resurrection of Jesus is the Gospel – the Good News – for all people. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, and with their acceptance of him - their belief in his name and his resurrection - eternity with Jesus is promised!

However, Jesus desires more than evangelism; he desires discipleship. With Jesus, we desire to see lives transformed and renewed, and that happens through discipleship – active submission to Jesus and training to live lives that are a reflection of his love and grace.  

The godly desire to bring people both to a saving relationship with Jesus and into being active disciples of him, forms the basis of our life as Christians in the Diocese of San Joaquin.

I pray that as we seek to live these out together, we will - each and everyone of us - seek to be committed disciples of Jesus Christ, and be committed to discipling others.

I pray you all a blessed week!

Bishop Menees
Catechism Questions 97 - 99

97.    Who are the saints?
The saints are all those in heaven and on earth who have faith in Christ, are set apart to God in Christ, are made holy by his grace, and live faithfully in him and for him. (Ephesians 1:1; Revelation 7:9-15)
98.    What does the word “communion” mean?
The word “communion” means being “one with” someone else in union and unity. Christians use it to refer to the relationship of the three Persons within the one being of God, to our union with all three Persons through our union with Christ, and to our relationship with one another in Christ. (John 17:20-21)
99.    What is the “communion of the saints?”

The communion of the saints is the unity and fellowship of all those united in one Body and one Spirit in Holy Baptism, both those on earth and those in heaven. (Ephesians 4:4-5, Hebrews 12:1).

Note: While Bishop Menees intends his notes to be viewed primarily by those in the Anglican Diocese Of San Joaquin, with his permission, I continue to post these on our Diocese Blog. This is because there is a great deal of need for both truth and clarity among Anglicans. Evangelism is what we are called to do in the Great Commission by our Lord Jesus Christ.

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