We believe that in all these ministries each of us is called to live out what we describe as Jesus’ “core values”: love, compassion, care, peace, justice. This is our overarching identity and ministry: to seek to live as Jesus commanded and as part of the fellowship of all believers”.
Our baptismal covenant gives shape and form to to this identity, and to our common life. In it we commit to the following:
- To continue in “the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers” (Acts 2:42);
- To persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever we fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord;
- To proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ
- To seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as ourselves; and,
- To strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.
In addition to this overarching set of commitments, and the ministry that flows from the identity they create, there are other more specific external and internal ministries to which we as individuals and as a community are called:
As individual Christians we regularly volunteer at the local food bank, “Good Cheer”; the local financial aid and referral center, “Helping Hand”; the respite care program, “Time Together”, and in annual programs like the home fix-up event “Hearts and Hammers”, or the Thanksgiving meal “Mobile Turkey Unit”. Many of these programs were founded by our parishioners, sometimes working with other congregations, sometimes alone. Our volunteer work is both “hands-on”, seeking to meet people’s needs face-to-face, and also in the background, providing administrative support.
As a community we provide financial support to many of these same organizations through our monthly “Mission Sunday Offering”. Each month we take up a separate collection and donate that month’s proceeds to a worthy organization (including but not limited to the ones mentioned above) – routinely this is about $1,000 a month.
Our internal life is divided into several different parts:
- We minister to each other though our pastoral care program, supported by our clergy, our parish nurse, and by skilled parishioners; and through our educational programming on Sundays and during the week.
- We we minister as part of the worship team, filling ministries with sometimes arcane names such as lector and acolyte, worship leader and eucharistic minister, chorister and organist, altar guild member and usher. And, of course, through those ministries specific to the ordained among us: of presiding at our common meal (the Eucharist), and of proclaiming God’s word in biblical readings and in sermons.
- And we minister through our administration of our common life, serving on our main leadership committee (called the Vestry) and on the other and various committees that give shape and form to our community identity.
We hope that you will see in this description a snap-shot of a community of like-minded individuals who have come together around a common commitment to service as Jesus commanded; a community made up of individuals who may not always agree with each other but are committed to the greater common vision of a just and loving world, under God – and who are working to bring that world into being.