The Church of Ireland: It's Mission and Prophetic action


I love the Church of Ireland.  It is my spiritual home. The Lord Jesus found me when I was a spiritually wandering teenager, saved me and brought me into a loving church. I was married and had my children baptised there.  The Rev Adrian McCartney taught us about the Holy Spirit and our faith began to burn. Events like Summer Madness and New Wine added spiritual fuel and we were set on fire. I had a burning desire to reach the lost and point them towards the Saviour – Jesus Christ.
The Anglican Church stretches far and wide. I've seen vibrant village churches in remote parts of Paraguay and Argentina. On this island, Church of Ireland parishes are woven like a tapestry across the land and into the fabric of society. Our mission to people is to explain the gospel, make disciples, and to help those in need. Our mission to society is to further the Kingdom of God.
Each parish and each person has a responsibility to act on mission. To do the stuff. To go to where people are, offer help, pray for healing, and share the good news of Jesus.  To be the bedrock for care, love, peace and grace in a community.
For the mission to society the Church of Ireland must be a prophetic voice. To speak out for those who cannot: the poor, the refugee, the vulnerable; for those affected by disaster and destruction. The church must also act prophetically.  Decisive action tolls a bell calling society back to the Kingdom of God.
Today, society faces no greater threat than climate change. According to Ban Ki Moon the UN Secretary General, “Climate change is an existential threat.”
The Church of Ireland can speak out on behalf of millions of people suffering from climate change and air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels. Air pollution kills as many people as tobacco smoking. Climate change leads to more powerful storms, floods, heat waves, and droughts that are devastating vulnerable people and fuelling conflict and persecution. 
The Bishops’ Appeal is one voice calling for more to be done and it does a wonderful job channelling funds to help alleviate suffering through charities like Christian Aid and Tearfund.  All of us should learn more, give more, and encourage our bishops to speak more with a prophetic voice.
The Church of Ireland can also act prophetically. The Representative Church Body (RCB) manages investment funds for clergy pensions and central funds to which each parish contributes. Millions are invested in fossil fuel companies.
The church can act prophetically by removing all of its investments from fossil fuels.  Acting decisively will sound the bell for other institutions: churches, universities, government and investment bodies to signal that the time has for change has come. Society must begin to care for creation and keep fossil fuels in the ground.
It is time to pray that the Church of Ireland will strengthen its mission to people and society, to make disciples and further God’s Kingdom.

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