The Church of England Diocese of Norwich has a bad attack of the intiatives - caught it from the politicians I shouldn't wonder! Committed to Growth, it's called! For busy church people it can seem like a burden - Do something more! Be more committed! it seems to shout. Those of us with long memories and a touch of the cynic about us remember Moving Forward and from Maintenance to Mission ( nobody really wanted people to cease maintenance on the 600+ medieval churches in the diocese to cease from maintenance no matter what the slogan said!)
I was turning these things over in my mind as I hiked through Cypriot vinyards. I knew the Allegory of the Vine (John 15) as well as the next well educated person in the pew. What I had forgotten, even if I had originally known, was how harshly a vine-dresser cuts back.
There in the vinyard were these dead looking sticks. That's what Committed to Growth looks like!
©Richard Woodham 2008