W hen you hear the word “ministry” what do you think of?? Many people
immediately assume that it means the work of a “professional” minister—or
deacon. That is an unfortunate misconception. The “priesthood of all believers”
is an important theological concept in the Anglican tradition and one that often
Our ministry at St. David’s is not just about the rector or the deacon, or the priest
associate or the seminarian. It is about ALL of us working together to cooperate
with God’s mission in our world. It is the work we do here at church and in the
name of our church, but it is also much more than that.
As Christians, everything we do in life can be considered our ministry. Our care
of the animals in our homes and in the wild, our gardens, even doing the dishes,
all are our ministries. Marriage is a ministry that many are called to, and when
God’s love and commandment to love one another are consciously and
prayerfully included, life together works much better. Certainly for parents,
caring for children and bringing them up to love Jesus and their neighbor is an
important ministry. Caring for elderly parents and neighbors can be more fulfilling
and less frustrating when thought of in terms of ministry. I could go on and on….I
hope you see that everything we do in our lives is an opportunity to bring the love
of God in Christ into the world.
When we see our interactions with others and our work, both at home and in our
professional lives, as ministry, we are more aware of God’s presence everywhere
and in everything. This is the reality of our lives as Christians; ministry is not
restricted to activities in our church building or by our clergy. Ministry is life—it
takes time and prayer, but it is the stuff of everyday life.
Everything we do can be a part of God’s mission of bringing love and
reconciliation to our world. You and I are a part of that mission, and with God’s
help, we can do our part in bringing the Kingdom to fruition.
Blessings to each of you for a summer of refreshment, rest, lots of fun, safe travel
and enriching time with those you love. That’s ministry!
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Considering it is the beginning of August, I am surprised that my head is already spinning!! You all have been very busy this summer and I am trying to catch up….thanks to Deanna Emerson and Carol Rodgers for the backpack drive for Rise, our Community Garden team for all the healthful produce delivered to the Rise Food Pantry and to our St. Paul team for their efforts. We also traveled to St. Mark’s community center this month to help with their efforts to minister to their community by providing 2 meals a day and a food distribution program. St. David’s is certainly getting out into the world!!
“Way back” in late June, I had the honor of being a Clergy Alternate Deputy to the 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Salt Lake City; AKA #GC78! It was eye-opening, inspiring and exhausting all at the same time. I was with 5 other clergy, 8 lay deputies and our two bishops, +Chip and +George, along with many youth representatives and other lay and clergy people from the diocese. It was a great group and I enjoyed sharing meals and fellowship with them as we did our part to serve our amazing church. Part of the pleasure of the trip was getting to know these faithful people better. I was reminded that my formation as a Christian is deepened and informed by engaging with and being formed by other faithful people. This was certainly the case at GC78. I was able to volunteer as a page at two sessions of the House of Deputies (HOD) and at one, I entered into a
discussion about mission with a Haitian nun! It was a gift to hear about her experience and ministry in Haiti. There were many other lay and clergy people that I got to talk with, especially while in the “Alternates Gallery”. These moments were among the best. This was a “paperless” convention and we all received iPads to use during the event! A great innovation, for sure.
Other memories: The Rev. Gay Jennings, President of the HOD, was a gracious and proficient presider, who kept her sense of humor throughout. The group, Bishop’s United Against Gun Violence (including our own Bishop), held a march in downtown Salt Lake City on Sunday morning at 7 am. We chanted a prayer throughout the entire march and I was struck by what a different spirit that gave to this gathering. It was a deeply spiritual movement and I was so proud of our church. The election of Bishop Michael Curry of North Carolina to be our next Presiding Bishop—it was very inspiring and exciting to be there when he was escorted into the HOD by Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori. The approval of liturgies for Same-sex Marriage was an affirmation of what we have been doing for some time, but the grace and respect shown to and by dissenters made me proud to be an Episcopalian. The Exhibit Hall was amazing!! So much to learn, so many people to talk with…so much paper to bring home!! Please check out the back bulletin board at church where I have posted as much as could fit there—I will be posting more as space provides. Our church is present in so many places, to so
many people, it is awe inspiring. I loved re-connecting with friends made at the E-formation Conference I attended in early June, and enjoyed “tweeting” with them as the HOB and HOD debated funding new forms of Evangelism!
All in all it was a worthwhile, enriching experience that gave me a sense of just how big, diverse and engaged in mission our church is. Once again, I am reminded how grateful I am to be an Episcopalian!