Vitally Important to All Saints’ Future:
The Living Our Values Commission (LOVC) would like to update you on our progress toward selection of a Principal Mission for All Saints and an important, possible change in process. You’ll recall that the Principal Mission process is part of the Strategic Objectives approved by the Parish and is intended to identify a mission worthy of considerable effort across a period of years. This is not only important for our future role in the community, but also to the process of calling our next Priest.
For several months we’ve provided everyone with various opportunities to suggest and comment on potential Principal Missions. These have included a virtual Parish meeting, mailings, surveys, social media invitations, and emails. We’re happy to say that we’ve received many replies and appreciate those thoughtful responses.
It’s become apparent that one proposed area has captured the interest of the Parish like no other: addressing Housing needs in our area, particularly for Seniors and descendants of the enslaved people who built All Saints. It’s also become apparent that a likely reason for the support for this need may be that tackling Housing could also help address other “high scorers” on the list of responses: racism, mitigating homelessness (and a lower scoring response, the opioid crises). In the comments on Housing, it also been observed that working that area may help address the more recent housing history of “red-lining” in our County (and elsewhere) that denied many people of color the opportunity to build family wealth (most families in America having had home ownership as the prime means of building their family’s economic stability).
Given these solid results so far for Housing, we are discussing with the Vestry modifying our course, which was originally planned to lead to a decision at the Annual Meeting in February. In short, we recommend accepting Housing Needs as our Principal Mission going forward and to begin working it now, rather than waiting additional months to do so. If we as a Parish do that, we have in mind as the next step to convene an online information session for all Parishioners and Friends of All Saints to which we would invite experts to talk about specific options and partners that might be appropriate for All Saints’ work in this area.
Please understand that accepting Housing Needs as our Principal Mission in no way excludes the possibility of working at different levels to address the other valid needs expressed in member responses. Housing would be our major focus of need. Also, the direction and progress made through our work on this project will be presented for review at the annual church meeting for member input. Periodic information on the project will be given to members through church newsletters and other communications.
Since this change in approach would be significant, we and the Vestry want to be sure everyone has opportunity to consider it and comment on it and we will use the full range of Parish communications to ensure that. We earnestly seek your thoughts and feelings about this proposed process change. Under the present COVID-19 circumstances, specific replies will be vitally important, but we will also need to take lack of replies as signifying consent. This makes your thoughts, now, if you are not in agreement, particularly important. Please let us know your thoughts by expressing agreement with Housing Needs as the All Saints’ Principal Mission Project or disagreement by Friday, August 31, 2020. Please send responses to Sherrill Munn by email:
or by regular mail: 5961 Sunderleigh Drive, Sunderland, MD 20689.