‘Take time out for rest, reflection, and refreshment,’ new Bishop to tell clergy
I am delighted to be elected by the ministers of the New Testament Church of God (NTCG) to serve as their Administrative Bishop in England and Wales. In the tradition of our Church, my wife Sonia will serve as Director of the Women’s Discipleship Ministries.
With the National Executive Council and our ministerial leadership, I have set out a strategic framework that, with God’s help, will guide our Church over the next three years of my four-year term.
I intend to promote excellence in leadership, servanthood, effective stewardship, and impactful communication in this role.
Our vision is: A relevant, relational Church reimagining God at work in our communities and nation.
- We are relevant when we are connected to the challenges of our culture and society and responsive to current and emerging issues.
- We are relational when we are connected within our local churches and the surrounding community
- We reimagine God at work when we are connected to the Spirit’s leading, the new opportunities for our churches and communities, and the exciting ways God is leading us now and, in the future.
Our Mission: In response to this vision, we call upon the whole Church to partner with God and each other by prioritising:
- Networking Strategically by collaborating across our Church and forming strategic alliances
- Theologically Sound Leadership by enhancing the quality and range of our training provision for the benefit of young people, and lay and ministerial colleagues
- Community Focus by being advocates, following the example of Jesus by taking action, doing justice, and speaking up for our members and their communities
- Growing and resourcing Healthy, Vibrant Churches by living out our Pentecostal spirituality, enhancing discipleship and the disciplines of prayer, fasting, hospitality, and encounters with God and the Holy Spirit.
Care for our communities
This mission does not exist in a vacuum; in our congregations and communities, issues like the cost-of-living crisis will be uppermost in people’s minds. Therefore, we have a duty to care for each other through participation, advocacy, and care to ensure that no one has to choose between heating and eating. We also have a responsibility to lobby and pray for our Members of Parliament to ensure that adequate provisions are set aside for the most vulnerable, whether in employment or not.
June 22, 2023, will mark the 75th Anniversary of the arrival of 1020 migrants on SS Empire Windrush, joining over 3,000 service women and men who fought in WWII and responded to the call to rebuild the mother country. In September 2023, we will also celebrate the 70th Anniversary of our Church, a legacy of the Windrush migration. We encourage all our congregations to mark these historic occasions at their various conferences and community events.
While there is much to celebrate, we call on the new Prime Minister to officially announce the end to the ‘hostile environment’ that adversely affects our communities. We invite churches to stand with those who have been treated unjustly and lobby Parliament on their behalf.
We recognise that during the COVID-19 pandemic, our pastors made enormous sacrifices, selflessly responding to the dying and the bereaved, quite often at the expense of their own health.
Over the next six months, we encourage our pastors, in consultation with their churches, to arrange a month’s sabbatical for rest, reflection, and refreshment. During this time, pastors should take the opportunity to access counselling support and reflect on the spiritual and leadership development they will need to flourish in their vocation and calling.
This initial provision will be supplemented with a culture change to take care of the welfare and well-being of our lay and pastoral leadership.
The vision of a relevant, relational church will be central to my leadership. It can only be achieved if congregations and leaders commit themselves to change and reimagine an innovative, caring, and just God at work in our community and nation.
I look forward to meeting with our leadership on Saturday, 3rd September 2022, to prayerfully start our conversations, discernment, and programme of work.
In service of Christ.
Written by: Bishop Claion Grandison