Growing on the Vine

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." 

John 15:5  

In the winter of 2012 the St. Philip's congregation participated in a survey which helped us to focus on and evaluate our church's performance in relation to a list of criteria put together by a program called "National Church Development".  We looked at various areas of our church's climate and culture. The survey results were then sent to the NCD for tabulation. When the results came back we discussed them and brainstormed about how we could continue to support and encourage the areas in which we showed strength and work harder on the areas where we needed to improve.  "Growing on the Vine", became the theme of our action plan.  To produce healthy fruit we must be: 

  • Rooted in Christ
  • Nourished by Prayer
  • Maturing in Faith

Our Strengths

  • St. Philips is a loving and caring community filled with joy and laughter. 
  • The atmosphere of our church is filled with praise and compliments and we warmly welcome new people to join our fellowship. 
  • Everyone is given the opportunity to offer their gifts and to contribute to the work of the congregation.

Where Work is Needed

St Philip's members, while showing commitment to their faith through church attendance and support of the church with time, talent and treasure, seemed to be less active in following a program of spiritual nourishment throughout the week.  Following are some of the ideas we came up with to strengthen our passionate spirituality:

Rooted in Christ through Scripture
  • Invite the congregation to read and reflect in advance on the scripture readings for the next Sunday
  • Encourage the congregation to read the devotional booklet "The Daily Bread" 
  • Support and encourage the existing women’s’ Bible Study Group 
  • Explore the development of a mens' Bible Study Group   
  • Support and encourage a Congregational Bible Study Group.
  • Host a bible and scripture resource fair in cooperation with the Anglican Church Bookroom  
Nourished by Prayer
  • Prayers of the People - high quality to be continued. Use of silent reflection to emphasize the message.
  • Prayer Group ministry to continue. 
  • Investigate workshop opportunities which encourage personal as well as congregational prayer, e.g. ‘Unbinding The Gospel’. 
Maturing in Faith                                       
  • Encourage parishioners to share their insights on the weekly readings.
  • Encourage parishioners to share faith stories during worship.
  • Hold periodic retreats. 
  • Host a spirituality workshop.