Avonside Mission Area celebrates with an evening filled with stories of God?s Kingdom

First published on: 26th March 2019

Rev Mat Ineson holding the story box open
Rev Mat Ineson holding the story box open

On Tuesday 12 February at 7pm Avonside celebrated their Mission Area together with prayer and worship. These events are held three times a year across the Mission Area in order to share news and encourage all five church communities. This time everyone was invited to St Marys, Stoke Bishop.

The evening focussed on the central question: How does your faith in Jesus change your life? It was led by the Mission Area lay and ordained leadership team. The gathering was inspired by the results of a discipleship survey. It had identified communicating faith to be a space where the Mission Area needed to grow as they seek to achieve their vision of bringing about the social, cultural and spiritual transformation of the Avonside communities. During the evening, taster materials from the Talking Jesus resource were used.

It was really encouraging to hear the many ways that God is working and blessing the various initiatives.

Participants were encouraged to share their own story with each other, reflect on what difference having a faith in Jesus made to their lives  and pray for one another. They were all encouraged to write down where they had recently seen 'God at work'. These stories were then collected in a Story box—one for each parish.

At the end of the evening, each box was filled with faith stories and made their way back each church community. Rev Simon Potter said that it was great to see everyone with their story to tell. Everybody had something from their everyday personal experience to share with others about how they see Jesus at work today. "It felt very natural and straight-forward to chat about our experiences, it's something that we can do just as easily with our friends and neighbours," he said.

Rebecca, from St Edyths, called the evening encouraging and exciting. It was good to meet up and share with people from the other churches again. It was really encouraging to hear the many ways that God is working and blessing the various initiatives, she remarked.

Melanie from St Peter's said, "There was a real buzz as people talked together across the five ASMA churches. As stories were shared from across the group it was so encouraging to hear what God is doing. I was particularly moved to hear how a woman at St Andrew's has been drawn back to faith through seeing the cross on the refurbished church building shining outside her bedroom window. A wonderful reminder that God never lets us go. I look forward to hearing more stories of what God is doing in our churches and communities as we seek him together."

Sharing how Jesus works in each persons life renews a sense of church community, and creates an invitational culture.

The Avonside Mission Area will be meeting together on Wednesday evenings, from 7pm-9pm, throughout Lent to hear how Jesus and his disciples lived and shared the good news story amongst their communities. Each week they will be hearing about a specific opportunity to get involved in transforming their own communities for Jesus.

For further information please contact the Church Office at St Mary's, Stoke Bishop on 0117 9687449.

The Avonside Mission Area is a mission partnership between five Anglican churches in North West Bristol. Together they are pursuing Christs transformation of their communities; socially, culturally and spiritually, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Mission Areas are a strategic initiative of the Diocese of Bristol bringing parishes together to serve alongside one another with a coordinated approach to mission, sharing resources and ideas. Learning from the Mission Areas is collected and shared to inspire and resource mission activity across the Diocese.