“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68) The casual interchange of the terms “mission” and “vision” often leads to confusion between a Mission Statement and a Vision Statement, each of which plays its own useful role in parish leadership, planning and development. The icon of the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ to the right hand of His Father conveys both the present mission of a parish ( life in Christ and obedience to His teaching) and the vision of the future of the parish as movement into the Kingdom of God, remembering that the Kingdom of God has been inaugurated on earth but not yet completely fulfilled. The document below may serve a useful purpose in assisting parishes to write their own mission and vision statements according to their own unique context.
Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware), writing in The Orthodox Way, quotes the theologian Vladimir Lossky, “The Holy Spirit is the sovereign unction upon the Christ and upon all the Christians called to reign with him in the Age to come. It is then that this divine person, now unknown, not having his image in another member of the Trinity, will manifest himself in deified persons; for the multitude of the saints will be his image.”
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