So following the “Living Faith” course we are all geared up to take our faith and share the joy and enthusiasm or are we?
Well and truly hooked on learning more about my faith and my place in God’s plan, the opportunity to join the Pastoral Care Elective was too good to pass up.
ALM – Authorised Lay Ministry – The Next Frontier!
This parish based ministry is deeply rooted in the Dioceses Strategy. It’s an active response to local needs and an exciting new form of ministry in the Chichester Diocese, in an active and positive time of change.
Now that might read like a PR statement but it is how I genuinely feel. I have been on the coal face of things not quite working, communications not reaching the rural parishes in time, initiatives based on large town or city churches and the apparent dismissal of the gifts of the laity to contribute to active church life.
I know all aspects of the diocese need work, updating systems, implementing procedures and finding ways to actively supporting our clergy as they gather flocks, work in our changing society and do what they are called to do – bring us to Jesus.
ALM is not about taking any of the responsibility away from the clergy but it is about recognising and equipping the laity in the knowledge and skills that are needed to be an active team member working in the parish for the greater good.
After being trained and authorised by the Bishop it is hoped that we (ALM’s) will lead or help establish a team of people in our parish to undertake various tasks and or to help develop the gifts and potential of others.
During the introduction evening we were reminded that at Baptism we are called to be disciples, called to be our true and unique self’s and to follow Jesus. This is just the next step along the constant road we are journeying along.
So the training promises to be interactive, reflective, challenging and diverse, their words not mine but having experienced last year I have no reason to doubt that will be the case. I learned so much from shared experiences, discussions with people from different backgrounds and from listening to what was actually being said to me.
I am hoping the reflective journals we are being asked to keep will the something that I will grow to appreciate and give me the opportunity (like this blog) to look back and see just how far I have travelled and how far I still have to go.
However with the song “KLF 3am Eternal” as an ear worm every time I say ALM. (Google it) In the words of the song “KLF is going to rock you!!”.
I rather hope it will be “ALM is going to ROCK me”