During this past weekend’s Vestry Retreat, I was moved by the following excerpt from church consultant Katherine Tyler Scott’s book, Transforming Leadership. “Like so many other institutions, the Church is not immune from the current seismic (enormous) shifts taking place nationally and globally. Experts in every field recognize that we are in a period of such rapid and complex change to historical periods in which new epochs (times) of human understanding emerged… Churches are normally thought to be contemplative places of spiritual respite and havens of stability, but the rapidity and complexity of change is contributing to a different internal and external reality. Today, the meaning of vocation, identity of the priesthood, the redistribution of power, the definition of community, and the meaning of “the ministry of all the baptized” are concerns and opportunities for creative ministry.”
Not only was I moved, I was gladdened to know that, at St. Peter’s, we are doing something right, while equally presented with opportunities to further engage God’s ministry—through who we are and how we fulfill the mission of the Church. Our Catechism reminds us that the mission of the Church is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ. Our parish family’s lay and ordained ministry approach to The Episcopal Church’s Service, Worship, Evangelism, Education, and Prayer (SWEEP) calls for all people of St. Peter’s to share in leadership.
In the coming months, the Wardens and Vestry will collaborate increasingly more with the Parish Staff, Clergy, Parish House Volunteers, ministry area team leaders, and all parishioners on modeling what is suggested by a transformation in leadership. The Church pursues its mission as it prays and worships, proclaims the Gospel, and promotes justice, peace, and love through the ministry of all its members. Exciting times ahead…in the name of Jesus.
God’s peace and blessings,
The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector