On Saturday, October 28, 2017 18 people from the Presbytery of Niagara met at Drummond Hill Presbyterian Church in Niagara Falls for a half-day workshop entitled “Light Up the World” (Matt. 5: 13-16).
The workshop was developed in partnership between the Presbytery of Niagara’s Evangelism and Mission Committee and Justice Ministries to explore discipleship, evangelism and justice. What are the differences between these vital expressions of Christianity? What are the similarities? How do they intersect?
A guided activity helped small groups decide, by consensus, on definitions, concepts and values related to evangelism and justice. Participants found common ground and set priorities for initiatives related to mission and ministry. Specific points of disagreement were identified for future conversation.
Participants were then invited into small group bible study, using Matthew 5: 13-16 (salt and light), and based on the Lectio Divina method which includes silence and contemplative reflection on a scripture passage. Lectio Divina was first developed in the early Christian church. Participants read the passage four times. Following each reading, there was a period of silence and then the small groups reflected on a different question. For example, the fourth question was: “what does this passage tell you about what God is calling you and the church to do?”
A plenary discussion invited participants to reflect on and share what they heard in the activities, witnessed throughout the workshop, and new points of learning or challenges. The Evangelism and Mission Committee members and Justice Ministries both affirmed and appreciated this partnership.
Anita Van Nest is the minister of Stamford Presbyterian Church and chair of the Evangelism and Mission Committee of the Presbytery of Niagara.