Our list of parish ministries reads like a small phone book. Are we really going to do a detailed plan for each of these parish ministry areas?
Part of the process of listening for what God is calling St. Timothy’s to be at the end of this 2020 planning journey is looking around to see what God is already calling the people of our congregation to do. That list of ministry programs represents God’s call because a need was felt and we responded.
Our 20/20 Vision challenge is to accept God’s call by identifying our mission and ministry work today and asking those involved in each area to help us identify unmet needs, reach out to the unserved or underserved, and imagine the new possibilities for each program is we worked together collaboratively with other congregations across the Diocese or around the world.
We are already doing this aren’t we?
Fruits of the Harvest is a living model of how one congregation can serve the ministry and mission work of the church by enabling others to do their best work. Each of the FOTH causes lives into our mission call and minister to the needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ. When we help those causes through our outreach efforts we are serving God.
Stephen Ministers help transforming lives reason and pray their way from where they are today to where they seek to go. The path is hard but the process is pure and holy. A Stephen minister listens patiently and walks the path with us not telling us what to do but holding our hand while we make life decisions and pray for God’s help.
Altar Guild is as old as the church providing a ministry that prepares for our corporate worship and helps us gather around the table as one family in Christ. This is not a job, it is a calling. And there are scores more ministry needs that call to the people of St. Timothy’s. Many don’t need or want a big elaborate program—they just do it, mission and ministry one-on-one.
Episcopal Charities Action Networks. We know Episcopal Charities as the outreach arm of the Diocese of California but now they have a new approach for encouraging congregations to recommend good causes and support them through collaboration. Called Action Networks this new strategy enables congregations in each Deanery (county) to combine their efforts and see Episcopal Charities match them with funding to live into the chosen ministry or mission need. It is a way of leveraging our combined efforts to make a material difference for many causes.
Our 20/20 Vision process is designed to give each of us many opportunities to roll up our sleeves and do the mission and ministry work of the church in ways large and small each day. Our goal is to get every person in our congregation involved in some ministry that calls to them. It is a process of discovery, of seeing new needs and meeting them, discovering new ways to make a difference and doing it in one person’s life as a lay Eucharistic visitor or hundreds as a volunteer at Loaves & Fishes or a Scouting leader or convention delegate.
What is God calling you to do to support the mission and ministry work of the church?