WAY OF LIFE
The Bishop of Truro has challenged us to SPEAK OUT in Lent 2016. Our target is for 2,016 faith stories to be told across the diocese.
The bishop has written a letter suitable for reading in all churches on either of the last two Sundays before Lent (31st January, a fifth Sunday, or 7th February 2016). The challenge is also available as a video: http://tinyurl.com/hpqmghq
It is over to you in the parishes and deaneries to make SPEAK OUT happen!
SPEAK OUT can be a traditional “testimony,” but it doesn’t need to be; members of the congregation telling their story quietly to one another is another way, or a mission in a town centre, or a post on Facebook or an article in the parish magazine, an interview on Radio Cornwall, or a conversation around the table at home. Maybe a deanery event, or in a pub, or a challenge you pass onto your congregations. There is a dedicated email address to receive the stories and we will use the diocesan website and new media to re-tell the stories we get.
The bishop’s hope is for us to encourage the habit of telling our Christian story among one another and in our communities.
THE DIOCESE OF TRURO
The Bishop of Truro, The Rt Revd Tim Thornton Lis Escop, Truro, Cornwall. TR3 6QQ
Telephone: 01872 862657 • Fax 01872 862037 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
SPEAKOUT 2016 29th January 2016
The Bishop’s challenge
Have you had a good year so far? How will you answer that question? I suspect the way you will answer that question is the way most people answer most questions and that is by telling a story. We love hearing stories and especially we love hearing stories about people. Some people call it gossip and I love some gossip! There is nothing better than hearing some details about another person’s life.
How do we tell stories? Well we use words of course, silly Bishop! Words are important and stories are essential to relationships.
I want you to use words and to tell your story and a story about you this year.
From Sennen to Saltash, from Morwenstow to the Lizard, I am looking, or rather l listening, for your words and stories. My challenge this Lent to all the disciples, church goers call yourselves what you will (and there is a challenge for a story, what is it you do call yourselves and why!) of our diocese is for us to speak faithful words. To tell the story of faith in this land. And that means to tell your story.
Are there not already many stories of women and men speaking faithfully in Cornwall and the Isles? We remember the saints who first spoke the name of Jesus here, and then generations of faithful people speaking of salvation and hope. The word made flesh is not silent, the word still lives among us. And it is only by those first saints telling their story and then others telling their stories and stories about them that we are here today in any case.
My challenge in 2016, and particularly in Lent this year, is for Cornwall and the Isles to hear and speak the wonderful and healing story of faith. That will be done by you and me telling our stories, by gossiping the gospel, by sharing with others something of what is important for us and why.
Speakout 2016 is a simple challenge. We would like to collect at least two thousand and sixteen faith stories, spoken and heard in Cornwall and Scilly this Lent. It is a challenge for us all to regain the habit and confidence of speaking about the things of faith. To speak hope, to speak love, to tell our story. As St Paul puts it, for us to be bold in our hope, to be bold in speaking.
This will take different forms for different people. I am not expecting you all to speak in the same way or tell the same story. You are all very different, indeed unique disciples. Perhaps some will simply speak aloud the name of a person who has spoken faith to them, one person who has unfolded the story of salvation in our lives, say that name and tell of them, and you will have spoken out in faith this Lent, told your story. Some will tell their story of faith and hope to family, friends or colleagues perhaps for the first time. Some will be able to speak well to strangers, some may use the internet to speak, others will use the old fashioned ways.
Words are important, and let the word be Jesus. We do not need to shout; remember the old saying about two ears and only one mouth, and remember that often we will be the ones who need to hear, but we fellow pilgrims can be confident in our faith.
I hope that in every church and parish of the diocese there will be events or occasions that help us to Speak out in 2016. In Lent, but also beyond that into the rest of the year. Our goal is two thousand and sixteen faith stories telling the story of love and hope. My hope is that we will easily pass that goal! Get involved in gossip this year and especially this Lent, so that, by telling your story you will not only have shared the most important matters of your life with others, but you will be deepening your relationship with God and with one another, and, you will allow others to tell their story as well. After all story telling is infectious.
With greetings and all good wishes