Dear Friends in Christ,
Proverbs 28:19 states, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” George Harrison sang, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” I find that both statements are true and both are speaking to my heart at this moment.
Doing ministry without a vision is much like camping in the wilderness without a map or compass. We can accomplish a lot of necessary and even urgent things right where we are; however, once we get ready to break camp, we have no idea where to head next. The business of the necessary and urgent is important and fulfilling until we observe that we are not quite sure why we are working so hard and where we want to go next.
I have been here a month now and I have tried to listen attentively to everyone’s visions, dreams, and desires for Trinity. All I can say is, “Wow!” I have heard of the desire for children/youth and children’s/youth ministry; I have heard of the desire to feed the poor, having a prison ministry, and visions for this ministry or that ministry, and on and on.
Unfortunately we cannot be all things to all people; however, don’t let me rain on your parade. If you feel called to these special ministries, you don’t need my permission to visit hospitals, prisons, or nursing homes. If that is where God is calling you by all means go!
Since we are first and foremost, the Body of Christ, let us remember that our primary goals are these three:
- We are to gather frequently in common worship.
- We are to be fed by both Word and Sacrament.
- We are then sent out in mission to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ by promoting justice, peace and love.
But, what is our mission as the Body of Christ in this place and at this time? Christ asked the blind man in the 18
chapter of Luke, “What would have me do for you?” We need to ask the community, “What would you have us do?”
I think it will take a few more months for me to get to know Apalachicola and the community living here, and I want you to know that I’ll be thinking, observing, dreaming, and listening to you, the folks of Apalachicola, the Church, and our Lord.
I think it is wonderful that there are so many ideas for ministry and I say if you're interested in them, maybe even take on a role individually, and then bring your excitement to the Outreach Committee, who will then forward it to the Vestry.
I have been at other churches where parishioners believed it was the priest’s job to do the ministry of the Church. I’ve also been in churches where the priest had little to do with mission. It is extremely important that everyone remembers and lives out what our Outline of Faith states on page 855, “The Church carries out its mission through the ministry of all its members.”
Finally, there is a hymn entitled, “We All Are One in Mission” and somewhere within that hymn are these lyrics,
“We all are one in mission, we all are one in call,
our varied gifts united by Christ the Lord of all.”
As we move forward as priest and people, let us discern how Christ is calling this new community of love to unite in mission and service. Whether you discern by listening for the still small voice, or you look for the fire of heaven, or you wait until you experience the peace which surpasses all understanding, I urge you to discern…not what you want to do but where do this community’s greatest need and Trinity’s great passion intersect. When we find that, we will know where we as a congregation are called. I am …