Last Saturday the Council and Vestry had a day-long retreat to do a Mutual Ministry Review. This is a time for us to look at what the last year has been like for our ministry together, and to chart a course for the coming year. We were fortunate to be led by Terry Perkins, who led our retreat last November.
We spent part of our time looking at roles in ministry. Many congregations used to act as though “ministry” was the job of the clergy, rather than the whole people of God. More recently, thriving congregations have adopted the model of “mutual ministry” or “total ministry,” emphasizing that we all do this work together.
As a pastor and teacher, my job is to “equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Eph. 4:12). That includes administration, communication, and pastoral care as well as preaching and celebrating sacraments. It’s important to see, though, that YOU are the saints I’m supposed to be equipping. We do this ministry together to build up the body. We all have a part.
Last spring you filled out time and talent forms. In the coming months a team will be working to translate those into ministry opportunities. But ministry happens beyond our walls as well. We come together to get strength for the journey, to remember who leads us, to get directions for the road. Then we go out again to share the good news that we are beloved children of God, and that Christ is with us and among us. In ways big and small, we make a difference.
Today, Wednesday, is the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul. These two men, and the communities they inspired, gave everything for the God they met in Jesus. They changed the world forever.
Next Monday we remember a group of people who made a difference. They took it on themselves to stand up, to trust in the future, and to risk their lives, fortunes, and honor for what they believed. We will remember them with fireworks, hot dogs, and hopefully with prayers. I pray that we will remember the difference they made by making a difference ourselves.
God bless you all.