by Total Ministry Development Group
The sun was shining, and the fall foliage was beautiful as the Total Ministry Development Group Fall Gathering commenced on September 27 - 28, 2013 at St. John's Episcopal Church in Marysville. And what a Gathering it was!
Eleven churches participated and every one was either engaged in the Total Ministry process or seriously considering the Total Ministry journey for their congregation. We discussed the blessing that is discernment, and the critical need to identify core values of our churches. The Rev. Kay Rohde and the Rev. Canon Britt Olson did a stellar job in engaging us in thoughtful discussion and sharing. What was different from other Gatherings of this kind was the realization that Total Ministry also changes us as individuals. I have felt and seen deepening faith, love and relationships within our Ministry Teams and congregations and beyond our church walls into our communities and into the world.
Total Ministry means to me that our love of God is active, as we reach out to each other and to those in need. This may not sound different from what many churches already do, and certainly all of the churches represented at this Gathering are actively involved in community outreach programs. But Total Ministry challenges us to all fully engage in some way, with love, as each congregant discerns where their gifts are. Our core values help us to define where our energies will be best utilized to follow God's lead. Burn out can be all too common in small congregations. Canon Britt gave us a brilliant example of a Church who "thought" they wanted to do a particular outreach program. It seemed like a good valuable service. Without discerning our gifts or our core values we can head off in a direction that does not engage the whole congregation, and becomes more of a burden than a joyful giving.
This Gathering was exciting, filled with energy, spirit and joy. As another attendee described, Total Ministry is like the 1st Century Church, with each of us disciples spreading the word of God's love.
Mon, October 21, 2013
by Nicole Baxley filed under
- Total Ministry Development Group,
- St. John's Episcopal Church,
- the Rev. Kay Rohde,
- the Rev. Canon Britt Olson,