The Presbyterian Parish of St Marks and St Andrews
Who we want to become as a church
A gathering of people desiring to reflect the light of Christ
Our purpose as a church
To make disciples of Jesus.
To train, equip, and nurture those disciples
To be witnesses for the Gospel in the local and wide world.
How we do things as a church
In obedience to Christ
Under the authority of scripture
advised by the confessions
guided by the Book of Order
mindful of God’s Grace
led by Teams
upheld in Prayer as servants of Christ
through donations and rentals
in unity with Christ’s Body
How we will achieve our vision
These Objectives were approved by the Parish Council and the congregation in October 2016 after a year of Worship, Study and Prayer following a congregation-wide Lenten Study, “Where is God taking us?”
1.Evolve and expand our expressions of faith and styles of worship to be relevant to all generations in the 21st Century.
2. Strengthen our discipleship through nurturing our spiritual lives and witnessing to the gospel both within our parish and beyond its borders.
3. Provide caring and relevant pastoral support to parish members, enabling and strengthening them to embrace the opportunities and challenges encountered in their lives and through their faith.
4.Engage creatively with the Palmerston North community, offering meaningful programmes to support local citizens and community and parish initiatives, especially those involving the care of natural resources.
5. Collaborate and co-operate with other congregations in the city in sharing the Word and ministry.
1. Strengthen the role of Parish Council and elders as leaders of the Parish
2. Further unify a “Twinned Parish”.
3. Provide Christian witness and service to the community
4. Build healthy relationships with the wider church
5. Provide worship that is true to God, relevant to our context, inspiring, faith-encouraging, provides the sacraments, and is, at the same time, inviting for newcomers
6. Encourage a strong sense of community within diversity
7. Increase faith through devotion and action
8. Grow the number of Sunday service attenders, enhance planning by our teams, and redirect our gaze outwards.
Current signs of a new direction in our Parish:
1. The Mini-mover programme for families in the community with small children was a step towards engaging with services to the wider city around us. The toddlers who come have meaningful experiences with other children, with their mother or father, through healthy games, music, movement, and food.
2. In discussions around planning for the Annual Spring Faire, the congregation decided to change the focus from raising money out of the community for the church to making the event a contribution from the church to the community. A children’s book section was arranged; flower arranging classes were held; and the pastor met in private with people who sought spiritual guidance. All the money raised was then sent on to non-profit programmes unrelated to our parish.
3. On the first Saturday of December, the Parish held a Christmas Fare, with the purpose of inviting those passing by into the building for a presentation of what Christmas was about.
St Marks and St Andrews Church Mission Plan
for the next 5 years
These objectives were put into the hands or our Four Teams and they were asked to list current activities they believed were responses to the objectives. In addition, they were asked to list ideas for future response to the objectives. A complete list of their work is attached as an additional document. We intend to hone current programmes and worship life, and, in addition, we plan, over the next five years, to implement new activities, listed below.
Also, at the end of each description of our future plans for programme, there will be a list of current uses to which our buildings are put. Many of these uses are dependent on the size and location of our facilities.
Evolve and expand our expressions of faith and styles of worship to be relevant to all generations in the 21st Century
We plan to increase the participation of the laity in worship to encourage their worship outside the sanctuary in other places.
In order to stream sermons over our website, we will acquire equipment needed to record them.
We will seek enrichment of faith and community through music: concerts, workshops, singing festivals.
Our buildings host:
All Saints Anglican Church weekly Evensong services, provide worship space for the Tongan Methodist Church in Awapuni, The Korean Presbyterian congregation (part of our Parish) that has separate services in Korean each Sunday, The Procession of the Cross, an ecumenical Good Friday service each year that moves through seven sanctuaries in the downtown, many weddings and funerals with attendance too large for the churches of the officiant ministers.
Strengthen our discipleship through nurturing our spiritual lives and witnessing to the gospel both within our parish and beyond its borders.
We will encourage the sharing of faith stories, ours and others’, in order to learn how to share the Gospel more effectively.
We will create groups for special needs and training, such as bereavement or visitation.
Provide caring and relevant pastoral support to parish members, enabling and strengthening them to embrace the opportunities and challenges encountered in their lives and through their faith.
We plan to create classes in Christian living as training in sharing the story of faith in Christ, practicing stewardship, learning how to pray, and developing spiritual gifts.
We will arrange mentors for new members so that they can be introduced to the family and helped to integrate into our mission efforts and leadership.
Our buildings host:
one of two Alcoholics Anonymous groups in the area.
Engage creatively with the Palmerston North community, offering meaningful programmes to support local citizens and community and parish initiatives, especially those involving the care of natural resources.
We will continue a concert series and establish music workshops throughout each year. This will not only provide a venue for musicians but train them for the church of the future.
We will create Senior Centres at our sites to provide activities and additional help to our aging congregation and seniors in the neighborhoods.
We will hold parenting classes for young parents of the community including those in the church and Mini Movers, our weekly program for toddlers.
Our buildings host:
Selected police activities including an annual photo of officers and visits with persons not wishing to enter the station a block away, community business training sessions needing a close venue, church activities specifically for the downtown population, for example a Christmas Fare to introduce the meaning of Christmas to shoppers and others passing by.
Collaborate and co-operate with other congregations in the city in sharing the Word and ministry.
We will support programmes that help women relocate from abuse including with Family Works, which is funded by Presbyterian Support and which counsels women on their release from prison, with the Women’s Art Initiative, a program that helps women and their children deal with abuse in the home, and with local police about connecting with their programme for relocating women who are abused.
We will study and implement the new Presbytery Team’s recommendations where appropriate.
We will host Christians Against Poverty, (a Christian ministry that helps families get out of debt, find employment, or create budgets for their home.) or a similar programme.
Our buildings host:
Presbytery cluster meetings, and, on one occasion, a prayer group from the Palmerston North Christian Leaders Association that prayed for our parish, Evensong services for All Saints Anglican Church, and one portion of the Progression of the Cross on Good Friday.