We envision whole congregations who have embraced their identity as a people formed for God’s mission. These congregations are increasingly identifying and engaging with their neighbourhoods. They are open and welcoming to everyone, and involved in many aspects of the life of the neighbourhood. They serve others sacrificially and generously, and allow themselves to be served and shaped by the experiences and insights of others. These congregations are cultivating community around practices of Word and Sacrament and indwelling the story of God’s redemptive and loving involvement in the world. Emphasizing presence over program, they are the local embodiments of God’s reign and mission in this city.
Congregations throughout the city understand themselves to be integrally and essentially connected with each other as part of the one mission of God. They celebrate each other; sharing people, money, buildings, leaders, ideas and experience to promote God’s loving intentions here. Congregations partner in training leaders and forming disciples who explore together ways of engaging communities with the Gospel. Congregants and leaders work together with those from other congregations in missional efforts throughout the city.
Horizon 3— for the good of the city
Vital congregations are spreading across the city and contributing to the public good. In each neighbourhood, congregations are coming alongside people on the margins and at risk, such as; single parents, at risk children and teens, mental illness survivors, the elderly, immigrants and refugees. They are also coming alongside to strengthen the work of local institutions and initiatives like; schools, neighbourhood associations and community centres. Christians who understand their missional vocation are catalysts for positive change in education, the marketplace, the arts and other areas of civic life. As a result, fewer people are resorting to criminal, self-destructive behaviour, and poverty is becoming less prevalent. There is sustainable economic growth; meaningful employment; a sustainable, healthy economy; a beautiful environment (both natural and constructed); just wages; quality consumer products; and stable, expanding employment. It is becoming increasingly clear in people’s minds that the presence of the people of God in this city is contributing to the universal flourishing of Hamilton. People are getting a taste for the life that God has intended for them.