"For the MAs themselves, this day marked the end of their two year roles as Mission Apprentices so it was a very special day celebrating all that God has been doing in them and through them and really marked the end of an era – with certificates and all! In many ways though, the celebrating was just a small part of the purpose of having the day. A bigger part was to reflect on all the learning they’ve done about mission and share it with whoever wanted to listen! We gave our guests loads of opportunity to hear about different activities they’ve been involved in, the challenges and opportunities of ‘doing’ mission in their parishes, the learning programme and discipleship process they’ve been part of. We also fed back the evaluation report and research, gave people a chance to experience some of the activities the MAs have been running and of course ask questions about the scheme from various angles.”
It was a day of deep reflection on the concepts of mission, as Simon Heathfield, Archdeacon of Aston, spoke of how God does not separate between rich or poor, posh or not, black or white, but He accepts everyone and we should do likewise. Those who attended where deeply impacted when one of the Mission Apprentices, Ruth, shared a poem that she had written entitled ‘God’s Broad Accent’ in which she challenged some of our expectations of who God is and who our neighbour is.
During the morning the Mission Apprentices had the chance to share some highlights from their two years in post, and then the room broke into smaller groups to hear more about the challenges and opportunities that working in mission brings. There was active discussion as those who attended had the chance to hear more about what God was doing in parishes around the Diocese and the Mission Apprentices were able to share their heart for mission and the things that God was saying to them.
The Mission Apprentices were presented with certificates from Simon Heathfield in recognition of their work over the past 2 years and were given the opportunity to share what they would be doing next - many of them will continue to serve in their parishes, which is great news!
The day ended with a Q&A and panel discussion as together we looked to the future of the Mission Apprentice scheme and how our understanding of mission and God’s call to share the good news to all is shaping our everyday lives across the Diocese.
“Encouraged to see so much zeal for mission. I will be praying for the next Mission Apprentice group.” MA Celebration Day attendee
To see more photos from the event, click here.