Over the last number of years God has increasingly put it on our hearts to reach out to people normally seen as on the margins of society. A church mission statement has been recognised in Luke 4:18, often called the ‘Nazareth Manifesto’. Jesus describes his ministry:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour.”
The role of Mission and Community Development Pastor (currently vacant) is to encourage mission primarily with this in mind. We have important links with Teen Challenge and Bethany Christian Trust. We are keen to encourage church members to be as involved as possible, or to support other initiatives in line with the Nazareth Manifesto.
The church has also established links with the Baptist Church at Lom, Bulgaria and with Healing on the Streets (HOTS)
Healing on the Streets is a partnership of twelve churches who combine to send two teams out each Saturday morning: one at the east end of Princes St (Wellington Statue) and one outside St Giles on the Royal Mile.
Passers-by can stop and have prayer for physical ailments or emotional problems.
There are five people from Bristo involved and we have seen God's Holy Spirit rest on those who stop bringing peace and blessings. Many show improvement from their condition and some are completely miraculously healed. A recent one was a teenager walking with crutches due to a painful arthritic knee - he walked painlessly away with his parents carrying the crutches! God is good!