A Rector’s Notes weekly article, May 13, 2019
Where are we going?
How will we get there?
These two important questions are with us throughout much of our lives. The answers to these questions dictate everything from road trips to conversations with toddlers to career and life planning to whatever you may need direction for.
Understanding our direction is crucial for preparing ourselves for what we will need for the journey. We need to know what tools and resources we will need to find (or create). We need to know what people we want to join us in this journey, either directly as companions and as leaders, or indirectly as supporters and sage wisdom givers. We need to know why we are going, what our purpose is in the journey, what our hope for our arrival (if we really are arriving anywhere), our hope in even embarking, is.
Journeying together as God’s people in the church is no different. We ask these two questions and we need to know many of the same things in order to answer them. Now that we have reached the end of our first (what is traditionally referred to as the) “program year” together (this is the church year that not-so-surprisingly lines up with the school year), it is time to look back on this year together in order to reflect on these two questions and lay out a road map for the continuation of our journey together in the next year and beyond.
Over the next several weeks I will begin meeting with people from throughout our congregation who have various expertise, interest, passion, and heart for different aspects of the ministry we offer at St. Stephen’s. Through these meetings I am hopeful to begin to answer these two questions: where are we going & how will we get there. From a focus on formation (Christian education) looking at what we offer to children, youth, and adults, to restarting a dedicated pastoral care ministry (or ministries?), to fine tuning our worship experience and expectations for those who serve (including offering more training and opportunities for others to join in!), these are just the beginning of the conversations that we will share over the next year as we discern together as a community what our answer is when someone on the street asks you about St. Stephen’s and you can confidently tell them:
“THIS is who we are.
THIS is where we are going.
And THIS is how we will get there (and I invite you to join us on the way).”