The Cathedral ministry is quite complex. At the heart of the work are the weekly gatherings of Christians. But the Cathedral also has special relationships with the Diocese as a whole, with the community, and with the central business district.
The Cathedral is the flagship of the Diocese and the mother church of the many parishes. This means more than setting standards. It also involves giving leadership, innovation and training.
The Cathedral has an official role in relating the Anglican Church to the community. From time to time this involves the public dignitaries and the media attending our Sunday gatherings (e.g. Last Sunday’s Anzac Remembrance). I am sorry if members feel the intrusion of journalists and photographers.
In many ways we seek to reach the business district with the gospel. For years we have hosted the Thursday City Bible Forum ministry conducted by ECom (Evangelising Commerce). Last month we restarted our lunchtime “Cathedral Bible Study”. This started well and will hopefully grow into a major ministry of the Cathedral.
However, the heart of the Cathedral ministry is the weekly gatherings of Christians. The Diocesan mission prayer expresses it this way
Our Gracious God,
we pray that you will help us to proclaim our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ,
so that everyone around us will hear his call to repent, trust and serve him in love,
and be established in the fellowship of his disciples while we await his return.
May we continue to pray, to depend on your Holy Spirit, and to glorify you.
Gospel ministry includes establishing people in the fellowship of Christ’s disciples.
Establishing people in fellowship is easier in smaller or suburban churches. It is easier to get to know and care for each other there. It is more difficult in a large congregation, which meets in a public and formal fashion in a city location. It is more difficult in a Cathedral that has to provide ministry for civic occasions. We have two difficulties: to integrate new arrivals and to provide pastoral care to regular members.
To help build our congregational life we have developed some new ways of caring for people. There are two very important developments we have introduced of recent times. We are introducing another smaller development this morning
The first major development is a change in mindset. We are moving from being “members” to “partners”. We have already had one “Partnership Day” this year to discuss this shift. We are preparing for another one in early June.
The second development is the commencement of our Sunday Prayer and Bible study groups. Some of these meet at 9am, others at noon. These small groups last an hour. They give our partners time and opportunity to get to know each other, learn from the scriptures and pray for one another. If you are not yet in one of these groups, or have never been in such a group, then joining is very simple and easy. Just mention it to any one of the staff. We will gladly introduce you into this wonderful form of fellowship.
This morning’s development involves collecting contact cards in a new way. The aim is to care for individuals within the congregational meetings better.
The Cathedral has about fifty visitors or newcomers every Sunday. It is too easy for people to come a few times without being welcomed and integrated into congregational life properly.
The other end of the problem is caring for the congregation partners. It is also easy in our context to miss people’s pastoral need. It is important that we provide help quickly, especially in time of difficulty. Hearing about needs by chance, several months later, is not good enough.
Please take a moment each week to make contact through these cards. There is no need to fill in the address details every time, just print your name. Your action will encourage newcomers to fill in their details. Your action also makes it easier for the Cathedral to care for you.
Any advice on how we can improve this development will be very welcome.