One of my sabbatical tasks was to think about long-term planning for St. David’s. That turns out to be tricky. When I discussed it with Bishop Scruton, he responded that our culture changes so rapidly that true long-term planning is not particularly useful. So much for that idea!
Father Domenic and Sue O’Hare came to my rescue. Domenic suggested a better way to frame the conversation. What is our vision for Saint David’s? Where do we see ourselves heading? Where do we want to go? What is God calling us to do now, and for the immediate future?
While I was on sabbatical, Sue invited parishioners to consider a related series of questions. What feeds my soul? Can I do more of that? What no longer feeds my soul? Can I drop it?
We’ll gather for a pot-luck meal and conversation about these questions on Monday, October 7 at 6:00. Please plan to join us that evening if you possibly can. If not, please share your thoughts ahead of time with me or someone on the vestry. Alternatively, write your thoughts down and put them in the marked box in the narthex. We want to include as many people in this conversation as possible.
A few basic ideas structure my own thinking. First, we are all called to grow in the knowledge and love of the God we know in Jesus Christ. Everything we do should ultimately contribute towards that end.
Our mission statement expresses our parish vision for how we seek to grow in the knowledge and love of God. It is: “As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to love God & community, committing ourselves to lives of joyful worship, prayer, and the teaching of Scripture.” Our mission statement guides our reflections on our vision for our common life.
From our mission statement, I identify three basic tasks: prayer and worship; life-long Christian formation especially through Bible study; and loving service to our neighbors (our community). Those tasks are non-negotiable, but we have to decide how best to fulfill them.
We also do many other things to support our life together. Some, like responsible budgeting and property maintenance, are essential. Others are more discretionary. For all these additional things, the question is how they can best support our primary tasks.
Such are my general thoughts. But we will need to work together to put flesh on them. Please be part of that conversation!!!
Fr. Harvey Hill
This blog is my occasional reflections on life, God, Christian faith, and the Church. I hope you find it helpful!
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