Reflections: The Total Ministry Process

Reflections: The Total Ministry Process

by Pat Harik, Total Ministry Committee Administrator, The Episcopal Diocese of Northern California and the Rev. Kay Rohde, Ministry Development Coordinator, The Episcopal Diocese of Northern California

A group of more than 40 people gathered at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Marysville to celebrate the 13th Annual Total Ministry Fall Gathering on October 17-18, 2014. People journeyed from 14 congregations across the diocese to participate in this year’s Gathering. The theme and focus was “Worship and Liturgy in Today’s World.”

On Friday evening, there was time for informal fellowship, conversation and a delicious dinner. Bishop Barry Beisner spoke about worship being at the core of our Christian tradition. Worship is the meal that nourishes us, and through it we are inspired and transformed to reach out to the world around us with love. Saturday morning, Canon to the Ordinary, the Rev. Andrea McMillin led a discussion of how, with prayer and worship at the center, congregations can gather people together to be transformed by God and sent out into the world to serve.

The Very Rev. Larry Holben from St. Barnabus', Mt. Shasta spoke to the group about the richness of liturgy in our worship, and how the community can use our liturgy to reflect the context of our communities by using language and music that reflects our culture. DonnaJo Woolen, liturgist at St. Barnabus', gave us information about resources for our liturgies and emphasized the importance of having all the elements of the liturgy follow the same theme.

On Saturday afternoon, the Rev. Kay Rohde, Ministry Development Coordinator for The Episcopal Diocese of Northern California, shared her perspective of Total Ministry in this diocese as a model of church that enables all to live into their baptismal promises, and yet retains that important and uncomfortable edge that defines a movement. We have recognized that Total Ministry looks different in every church. Some churches start out with no clergy, while others that have part-time clergy are also moving toward this model. Churches of every shape and size can live into some form of Total Ministry.

Learning to live, be and act "in community" is one of the marks of a congregation that chooses to pursue Total Ministry as a way of being church. This process engages the congregation where they are, encourages them to reflect and develop a deeper understanding of who they are and to discern what gifts are present to do what God is calling them to be – in community. The Core Values of Total Ministry in The Episcopal Diocese of Northern California that are central to the process are:

1. God is always at the center
2. Total Ministry enables the community to be mission focused
3. Total Ministry is a process, not a program
4. Practice Servant Leadership
5. Team Leadership
6. The community learns together

Total Ministry will always be a journey, not a destination!


1 comment (Add your own)

1. Jane Snibbe wrote:
Many thanks to the Total Ministry team that organized this Fall Gathering and to our hosts at St. John's, Marysville. We learned a great deal, enjoyed sharing with experienced Total Ministry congregations, and certainly appreciated the delicious meals set before us.

Thu, November 13, 2014 @ 9:22 PM

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