“From that time Jesus began to proclaim, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Matthew 4:17, New Revised Standard Version
Immediately following his baptism and testing in the wilderness, Jesus launched his ministry by proclaiming the Kingdom of God. The reality that the Kingdom is near demands a response, both in the first century and today. Jesus calls for repentance, or as The Message translates it, to “change our lives” which not only includes repentance but also allowing God through his Spirit to transform our priorities, commitments, and lifestyles. Bishop Hunter expresses it this way: “In light of the amazing invitation to live in the kingdom, repentance, or metanoia, provides an opportunity to review and adjust all your plans for living.”
As Christ followers, we mirror Jesus’ mission to announce the Kingdom; we seek to embody Christ, his saving grace, and his Kingdom values as an incarnational presence in a hurting world; and we commit to demonstrate the nearness of the Kingdom by serving as agents of deliverance, justice, and mercy. In our Diocese, we rely on Kingdom imagination as we plant new faith communities and envision how to take existing congregations to new levels of effective mission and ministry, always reminding ourselves that we serve for the sake of others, to the glory of God.