What does this mean?
God meets us where we are. Accompaniment calls us to walk with each other into the fullness of life offered by Christ. Not tickets to the match but a place on the team.
To help us become a Church that accompanies people we will have to initiate everyone – priests, religious and laity – into this “art of accompaniment” which teaches us to remove our sandals before the sacred ground of the other. The pace of this accompaniment must be steady and reassuring, reflecting our closeness and our compassionate gaze which also heals, liberates and encourages growth in the Christian life.
How will we achieve this?
Here’s what we shall do to address area 1:
- Seek to re-orientate our archdiocese to walk alongside the people of today, sharing with them the love that God has for each of us. This calls us to be willing to acknowledge the goodness in all people in all their diversity.
- Develop ways of accompanying each other as we deepen our relationship with Jesus.
- Explore ways to resource parishes to accompany parents as they bring up their children and hand on their faith to them. We will aim to help them recognise and celebrate the presence and action of Christ in their lives.
- Create a new vicariate to respond to the call of the Synod to place at the forefront of the life of the church: inclusivity, justice and peace, the poor and the environment.
- Recognise that Jesus commissioned his disciples to ‘Go out into all the world and proclaim the Gospel to the whole creation.’ (Mk 16:15) If we are to accompany our brothers and sisters along a path that is blighted by humanity’s misuse of creation and its resources, then we will need to regard concern for the environment as a core dimension of our evangelising mission in the world.
- Resource the exploration and embedding of the model of accompaniment.
Our area development coordinator for area 1 is MC Benitan, director of pastoral development at the Archdiocese of Liverpool.
What does accompaniment look like? With David Wells.