Chapter 17 was born out of the Greater Saint John Ministerial Association at the end of 2013. The desire was to develop some visible expressions of the church in the city which respond to Jesus prayer in John Chapter 17 – “that we [the church] would be one, as He was one with the Father.”
When we launched, we had the wider Saint John region in view and the church God has called in this region. We recognised that some of God means of impact may only be met by working together in different ways. We initiated a broad based prayer gathering named Pray Saint John, but also wanted to encourage believers to connect and pray together in the workplace. We hoped it to become a means by which we would network and communicate what God is doing, share opportunities, support and pray for one another.
Since that time, one very positive development is that many leaders and congregations are finding connections locally. This was in the heart of Chapter 17 at the beginning and one of the reasons we used networks as plural in our description.
Going forward, now in 2017, several people have been sensing an increased impetus toward unity in our region. On the global stage we have also seen increasing signs of a moving towards unity, particularly with Roman Catholic Pope Francis reading out across a broad spectrum of denominations. Here in Saint John, we have the means do dedicate someone to help work on these connections across the whole body of Christ.
In all of this we are looking to the leading of the Lord among us, celebrating what He is already doing among us, and eagerly anticipating what He is bringing about in our region.