One of the most important tasks we’ve undertaken during this time of transition is to foster the engagement of the members of the Cathedral community in one or more ministries. Why is this important?
• “Every Member is a Minister” is the teaching of The Episcopal Church.
The Catechism of The Episcopal Church can be found on pages 844-862 in The Book of Common Prayer. This brief summary of the Church’s teaching, grounded in Scripture, is also known as “An Outline of the Faith.” Among the teachings we find in the Catechism is a description of how the mission of the Church is carried out and by whom:
Q. Through whom does the Church carry out its mission?
A. The Church carries out its mission through the ministry of all its members.
• “Every Member is a Minister” is a characteristic of fruitful congregations.
Fruitful congregations understand that every member is a minister, called by and connected to Jesus Christ and engaged in one or more ministries. At St. Andrew’s, these ministries are carried out with assistance of the clergy and staff under the leadership and engagement of our commissions, committees, guilds, and various ministry groups. Some of our ministries that had become dormant have been revitalized. Others have been strengthened. Still others are new initiatives.
• “Every Member is a Minister” describes a church that is ready to enter the next era of mission.
Soon, a new Dean will arrive, ready to lead you into a future where God is calling you. He or she will expect to have a well organized, active, involved laity with whom to work because that’s how the profile you helped develop describes St. Andrew's. To have all the ministries populated with people, sleeves rolled up, called, equipped, and empowered will make a big difference.
• We’ve come a long way but there is room for more.
Several weeks ago, we sent out an invitation to participate in a time and talent survey called “I Will, With God’s Help.” The intent of that survey is to determine three things:
• Places of ministry members feel called to explore or begin,
• Places of ministry members wish to continue in the coming year,
• Places of ministry where members are serving beyond the parish.
We've developed a document describing the ministries of the parish. It is entitled “Charters for Mission and Governance” and you may see it HERE. This document was prepared in collaboration with commissions and committees and finally approved by the Vestry in February of this year. Along with those descriptions, there are brief descriptions of just about every one of our ongoing ministries in the survey itself.
If you have already participated in the survey, thank you very much! If you have not, there is still time. Click HERE to participate.
As you consider this invitation, I encourage you to read again the words of St. Paul to the Ephesians. Read them as if they were written for this community of Christ's followers in this time and place.
But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knitted together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love. – Ephesians 4:15-16
I’ll see you in Church!
The Very Reverend Ronald D. Pogue
St. Andrew’s Cathedral