Answering God's Call

On October 29th, the Missional Ministry Team met with the Reverend Bill Cruse following the 10:15 service to discuss the next steps in our work with the Kaleidoscope Institute. 

            “How do we know we are on the right track with the development of  our new                            ministry?”- Question from the  Oct 29 Event

We thought it fitting to talk about the October 29th event with Reverend Bill Cruse by starting where it ended. The question above was the last one asked before we ended the event. Reverend Cruse answered this question simply. We will know that we are on the ‘right track’, because the Holy Spirit will flow through it. The ministry will be both inward – befitting those here in our Parish and outward- benefitting those who are not direct members of our Parish. The ministry will be sustainable over time. Finally, we will experience reciprocity- we will be blessed with further benefits through the Holy Currencies.

             “Church of the Advent has a fantastic music ministry, both for
            adults and children. They sing praise to God and they work
            together in relationship.”
                        - summarized from Oct 29 Event

Reverend Cruse helped guide us through the process of understanding the results of the Wellness Event we held on October 1st. He also educated us on how to create and prepare to answer God’s call to ministry.  This will help our not only our own congregation, but also the  greater community around our Church.

            “We have a strong lay visitation ministry. These are dedicated people that visit those in need within our congregation and build much needed relationships.”

                                    - summarized from Oct 29 Event

The question that came out of the October 1st Wellness Event was “How can we begin to form relationships that will help our community?” That’s a loaded question, and it does not have a simple answer. It didn’t even seem to have a beginning.  Reverend Cruse told us that it really begins with the most simple of acts. It begins with “hello”. It’s how we all choose to listen to one another after the initial contact that makes the difference. The listening is where the relationship begins.

            “Our Altar Guild is a dedicated group of people who work together
            every week. They welcome new members gladly and are proud of
            the work they do for our Church, together.”

                        - summarized from Oct 29 Event

 No matter where we are, internally, or externally in the wide world, we need to pay attention and listen. Not just stand or sit and listen passively. We must listen with care, and with curiosity. It helps to ask clarifying questions- showing we want to know more about the other person. And, when talking is appropriate, give feedback, share and confirm to the other person that you are listening.

            “Our Ushers and Greeters have transformed into a more relationship-
            oriented ministry. They talk to the people they give leaflets to. They ask
            about the person who needs a gluten free wafer. They try to make people
            that come through our  door feel like they are welcome.”

                        - summarized from Oct 29 Event

The Ushers, the Greeters, the Altar Guild, and the Music Ministry are in their nature task driven ministries. There is a job to get done. Most of the time, we are a church of doers. We get things done. However, when we recognize that we should be doing tasks together, listening to and for each other, that is when tasks become relationship-driven. We start to do the work, because we like it, not because we simply have to just get a job done.

             ”We have a wonderful Funeral Reception Ministry. It is all about
              building relationships, something that is very important for a family who
              just lost a loved one. We welcome the families and help them
              with these important tasks.”

                           - summarized from Oct 29 Event

We need to reach outside of our Church community.   How do we know this? The Holy Spirit offered us opportunities and we embraced them. We have begun to form relationships with St. Michael’s Church to combine and improve our Youth Programs. So far, the response has been tremendous. At least 40 youth per night (two times a month). The service projects they are undertaking is impressive.  They have helped with community clean ups and packed 25,000 meals for RISE against Hunger.  As a congregation, we have also had a chance to begin the process of forming relationships with the Kennett Adult Literacy Program. Through discussions with the leadership of the literacy program over the summer, we discovered that the program needed space to meet.  This space that was much more valuable than any check we would have been able to write, and so we offered the unused Sunday School rooms for weekday classes.

Reverend Cruse also gave us information on Planned Change. This planning is the ground work to cultivating a new ministry that will help us build future relationships. The Missional Ministry Team plans to begin working on this process together.  

We have many vital ministries within our Church and so many caring people. We have a responsibility to share the abundance of our blessings with others who need it.  It seems fair to say that we have already received many signs that we are on the right track!

Thank you to everyone who came out and joined us on Sunday for this very powerful event!

~ The Missional Ministry Team