Celebrating the diversity and ministry of all God’s people
- a statement from the OFM Trustees
‘We affirm the ordination of women to all Orders of Ministry and
celebrate the diversity and ministry of all God’s people.
We welcome everyone to be renewed and refreshed as we share
in the transforming love of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.’
‘I came that they may have life in all its fullness’ (John 10:10)
Here at On Fire Mission we have long sought to foster a safe and inclusive environment in which all people can encounter the transforming love of God. This is in-keeping with the Church’s desire to be a place which seeks to safeguard all God’s children. At the heart of our mission is the desire to enable people to feel, and to be, able to open themselves to experience afresh God’s life-giving Holy Spirit at work.
We are proud to be a community of people from all walks of life representing many expressions, identities, relationships and life experiences across the spectrum of physical and mental health, sexuality, gender and ethnicity; from different economic and cultural backgrounds, different Church traditions, lay and ordained, who all access daily life and worship in a variety of ways. Discrimination or prejudice on the grounds of race, sex, class, age, gender identity, relationship status, sexual orientation, physical ability or disability, neurodiversity or any other God-given characteristic, have no place within the OFM network, and we commit to working to build OFM as a safe, equal and inclusive space for all. We are aware that the world, and the Church, is not as open and affirming as it should be and we acknowledge the Church’s part in causing harm to some of society’s most vulnerable people. We recognise OFM must continually listen to, learn from and respond to the experiences of those who have been marginalised and oppressed.
One way in which we hope to model this is by ensuring that when we gather together at our regional and national events, they are as genuinely welcoming and accessible as possible; that we do all we can to remove the psychological, spiritual and practical barriers to encountering the loving God through the teaching, worship and ministry we offer in God’s name, and that we are working to more intentionally represent the rich diversity of God’s people in our leadership. It is our intention that we draw speakers and attendees from across the spectrum of the Church of England and beyond.
It is an essential part of working out the future of the Church that we respond to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s call for ‘radical inclusion’. This may mean a number of things, but will involve us listening carefully to those with whom we may not entirely agree. People come with both positive and negative past experiences and we are clear that as well as being a place of encounter with those who are different, OFM should be a place of safety, healing and reconciliation. Please help us to continue this important work by raising awareness of our values among your friends, by listening carefully to the experiences of others at our events, by pointing out to us areas where we can do better and by joining us in celebrating the diversity and ministry of all God’s people.
Read the Trustee statement and commitment to action: Stand Against Racism here