Presentation by J Trevor Jones to the PCC of Santa Margarita, June 2016
Some time ago a group of people here on Menorca came together and founded the Anglican Church of Santa Margarita. Question. How? I believe that God gave them a combination and variety of gifts and skills and the vision to work together to found our mission church. Questions? Why? What does mission mean? In a word it means ‘purpose.’
Question. What is the mission, the purpose of Santa Margarita? We have our social gatherings and we have our regular services where we come together – and here I am quoting the list from Common Worship – to offer praise and thanksgiving, to hear and receive God’s Holy Word, to pray for the needs of the world and to seek the forgiveness of our sins. After having been to church on a service day and having done these things I confess that I feel better and satisfied and able to go out to lead my ordinary day-to-day life for another week.
Is this the purpose of Santa Margarita – to make us and our visitors feel better and uplifted? Well, yes it is, most definitely Yes – but Common Worship adds a fifth item to the list – and it is ‘that by the power of the Spirit we may give ourselves to the service of God’. This now brings us to the further purposes, the real mission of our mission church.
Mission, as agreed by the whole Anglican Communion has Five Marks. My dictionary defines a ‘mark’ many ways, but including “an object to be arrived at”, “a standard”, a “badge”. The agreed Marks are:
- To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
- To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
- To respond to human need by loving service
- To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation
- To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
In my lead up I have asked what is the purpose of Santa Margarita and have thought whether in corporate or in individual terms. Now it is clear that each of the Five Marks, which all interlink with each other, involve us both corporately and individually.
Let us now take just the first Mark – To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom. Well, just like Jesus saying that the first two Commandments are the greatest on which hang all the law and the prophets, similarly it is commented that this first Mark is the greatest, summarising and encompassing the others. It is what Jesus said was His mission. It is what Jesus came for and it is what Jesus DID.
Now it is our turn. Mark 16v15. And He said to them (as He is now saying to us) “go into all the world and proclaim the Good News to the whole creation”. Our part of the world is Menorca. May we constantly pray that the Holy Spirit will give us, as Santa Margarita corporately and as individuals,the opportunities, the words, the courage to pursue our mission, our purpose, to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom.