The Connected Life vision begins with the premise that as human beings we were created in the image of God, who is in Himself a relational being, and whose nature is to reach out in friendship and love. For us to flourish as individuals and as a society, we need to be connected – connected to God, connected to one another and connected within our local community and with the wider world. All of this is reflected in Jesus’ summation of God’s law in just two commands: to love God and to love our neighbour.
The in-built human desire to connect is seen everywhere e.g. two friends arranging to meet for coffee or the mass of global connections made possible through social media. It is also seen in the isolation felt by those who become disconnected, hence Mother Teresa’s comment that “the greatest disease in the West today is loneliness”.
We see it as our role as a parish church to create a variety of opportunities for people to connect (or reconnect) with God and with other people; and to play our part in creating a more connected community. One of the lessons we have learned is that we are most successful when we are ourselves connected and working in partnership with others.
Increasingly, the Connected Life vision is informing everything we do as a church. We have reorganised our organisational structure around the vision. Many of our members have found a role in helping to deliver different aspects of the programme. There is also an energy and enthusiasm to try new things as new ideas emerge, whether from members of the congregation or from the community.