“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16
To help the church understand what 'mission' is, the many different forms it takes in the world and to help individuals in our church find their part in mission, we have appointed Phil and Tany Prior as our Mission Enablers. Phil and Tany are missionaries themselves working for Wycliffe Global Alliance.
Phil's role with the Alliance, as Director of Communications, means he has great insight into what God is doing around the world and is able to share the stories and insights of global mission which in turn bless us as a church. Tany is a self-employed physiotherapist running Liberty Home Physiotherapy. Tany also provides Admin support for Phil's Team and for their family which includes the lovely Sophie and Amy.
If you would like to book Phil and Tany to come to speak they are keen to do so. Use the contact form and they will get in touch.
This passage from Matthew 5 is our verse for 2017 but in reality it has always been a verse which describes what Cornerstone is about. Cornerstone was set up to be a church for people who don't 'do' church. The way we meet, the things we put energy into and our focus in our planning is all about joining in with the Mission of God in our homes, in Thame, across the UK and the wider world.
Mission has always been about sharing the good news of Jesus. It's about doing that through practical acts of love and service. It's about marching for justice for refugees and the voiceless. It's about caring for the environment and for vulnerable people. It's about seeing lives transformed and talking naturally about Jesus and the amazing difference he has made in history. It's about garden clear ups, lifts to hospital, regular hospitality, sharing homes, having a crisis fund to help with money when tough times hit. It's about partnering with the local Sharing life food bank, being part of the conversation into future community spaces in Thame. It's about supporting those in translation work, in local ministry and recognizing that each of us has a mission and helping people to live theirs out with confidence.
Alongside Phil and Tany, Cornerstone church supports a number of individuals working both in the UK and overseas in different types of mission. We also give a tithe to the Baptist Union Home Mission fund which supports congregations in the UK who are either struggling to make ends meet or are being pioneered and planted. We support individuals engaged in business in mission, in pastoring, in translation work and also support people undertaking short term mission trips or gap years.
We have committed to increasing our mission budget year on year and also regularly get involved in with crisis relief efforts, most recently the refugee Crisis in Syria and Calais as well as supporting Home for Good a charity advocating for and seeking to provide homes for children in care. Krish and Miriam Kandiah who founded the charity are leaders and members of our church.
It's been a real joy to partner with local groups such as Asylum Welcome in Oxford to decorate and furnish a house for a refugee family and with Bread and Roses for Refugees who provided much needed medical and emotional support for those in the Jungle in Calais. Church members have also put on Board Game Cafes and 'Chari-teas' to raise money for Thames Valley Air Ambulance, the Sharing Life foodbank and Crossover, a charity helping street children in Zimbabwe. We are a church with an activist heart and have marched in Oxford, run sponsored miles for children in care and gutted and decorated houses to help them feel like home. If you like mission, we think you'd fit right in!