March: The 166th Diocesan Council


It was my honor and blessing to be with the delegation from St. Andrew's at the 166th diocesan Council in February. Not only was I in the company of congenial people, but I was also in the midst of people from a parish which is on the leading edge of our bishop's vision for the diocese. How exciting is that?

I am grateful that we embrace our diversity and understand that God is empowering us through it. I am excited that there is generosity in outreach - and in many different directions. I am also excited that new people continue to grace us with their desire to become part of this community and that they are engaging in both new and old ministries. I recently had lunch at, for me, a new sandwich shop called the Which Wich. Their service goal is to have all customers say "WOW"! About St. Andrew's, I say, "WOW!", remembering it is God who is working through us.

Our bishop has once again called us to be church beyond our walls by establishing relationships with folks wherever we are in our daily activities, taking the Good News of the Living Christ through our words and our actions. This has been the goal of Common Mission. We have worked through several hurdles in attempting to find a single mission to follow among the many possibilities and have opted to start small after all. Everyone who feels a tug to step boldly, speak lovingly, and enjoy greatly is welcome to participate in Blessing of Soles on the Boulevard in front of the church. Several churches are planning to participate in greeting and blessing the soles of the runners and walkers who spend Sundays on the esplanade to let them know we are here and that we care about them. Further, we hope to learn something about how they think we can serve them in their lives. This event will take place after Easter, and further details are not available at this writing, so please contact Megan Parks, Steve or Catherine Runner or myself if you are curious and want to join in.

We also invite all who wish to plan and carry out other ways of engaging, relating to and serving our neighbors to let one of these folks know. I can guarantee that this approach to ministry will make you exclaim, "WOW!"

October: What IS Common Mission?


For the past several months a small team of parishioners has been about learning, defining, exploring and praying about Common Mission. Many of you joined them in getting to better know your fellow parishioners. A few more of you feel called to become part of the effort. So just what IS Common Mission?

Common Mission is what we do as being church, with a local focus. The team has defined COMMUNITY as being the Greater Heights, the physical place where St. Andrew's is planted. Our Christian mission, as we understand it, is to be Christ in relationship with all whom we meet. Therefore, our Common Mission is building relationships among ourselves then outward through the community. 

In this way, we expect to be better able to discern and understand the real need and how others think the Church should be paying attention to that need. In building relationships with people and institutions throughout the community, we may collaborate to better steward resources, bring hope, diminish hunger, foster health, and seek justice for those who have no voice or whose voices are not heard in public policy. In other words, we just might act like followers of Christ.

All this is based in Scripture. Moses shared his leadership with Aaron, with representatives from the 12 tribes, and with Joshua. (Exodus) Each of us has a role in the kingdom. Our iron rule: Never do for anyone what he or she can do for themselves. (I Corinthians) Jesus sent his disciples into the communities to tend to those in need and proclaim the good news. (Matthew 10)

One congregation alone cannot do this, and many of the congregations near us are very small. Yet, if all the children of God in this area worked together, prayed for each other, shared ideas and resources, the Kingdom of God on earth in the Heights could be a marvelous thing to behold. The Team has discussed many possibilities and approaches. (Check the Outreach page for details.) We ask for your prayers, your inquiries, your offerings of self and your support. God's power can work in us to bring about greater things than we can ask or imagine. (BCP) 

Get Ready!