Back in February, I described the changing approach by Partnerships In Mission to becoming a part of the voice of mission and service at Advent. This process is evolving and experimental. Our goal is to transform and grow from simply writing checks to more participation and celebration of missional ministries and having a way to thoughtfully select how to use the funds graciously given to Advent. As already shared, with Nancy’s guidance, and hopefully involvement by parishioners, we intend to use these funds to support emergency community needs; serve as an occasional resource to support existing local community social services and ministries; and, as an expression of our renewed mission focus, act as “seed money” for Advent parishioners with the support of PIM to engage in missional ministry in our communities. I emphasize the need to consider an expansive meaning of community and communities to be broader than where we live. The words refer to those within our parish, within our local neighborhoods and municipalities, as well as within our Diocese of Pennsylvania, and nationally and globally.
As part of our service mission, PIM is taking on a coordinating role for parishioners looking at volunteering with organizations and community-based programs. If you see a program in the Ministry Overview Pamphlet, please contact me or another member of PIM.
We see a need to inform and celebrate existing ministry projects at Advent. We are putting together a bulletin board in the Fellowship Hall describing ministry projects at Advent. These projects are of all types, seasonal, ongoing, Advent focused, and community based. Look for it soon. We also want to be sure we all know about how Advent’s facilities are being used by others. Our goal is both to inform as well as to encourage parishioners to participate in a ministry where feasible.
To encourage creation of new ministry projects by Advent parishioners, we’ve created a simple application to submit to PIM. In the application, we ask for a description of the project and learn what is needed to get the project going. This includes how parishioners can help, what community organization is involved or is the beneficiary, what materials are needed, how this will be communicated/publicized and funding requirements, if any.
We see the potential to expand our presence in the community through focused and limited use of Advent space for community groups to meet that serve our mission of being more involved in the communities at all levels. For example, Kennett Area Community Service and Southern Chester County Opportunity Network have been invited to have meetings at Advent. You ask what or who is SCCON? It is a network of individuals and groups who share the common vision of a better quality of life for all and are committed to walk the journey with our most vulnerable neighbors as they seek resources and economic mobility.
Another one of our efforts is bringing an awareness to Advent missional programs and initiatives of the Diocese of Pennsylvania. This ranges from just sharing with Advent all of the mission programs within the Diocese, to seeking involvement with Diocese programs and helping in the support of these programs.
Together, we are making Christ visible!
- Liz Curtis Swain