Grace and peace. Your Vestry met in retreat this past weekend. We prayed that God’s mission will continue to be accomplished right here at St. Patrick’s. As always, the Vestry is full of many ideas. Here are the key things that the Vestry plans for 2017 (this was a portion of my Sunday sermon. You can listen or read the sermon here).
- Develop a pastoral care committee that can react to the needs of parishioners who need a visit, a prayer, a ride, or a meal. Let me tell you that many of us are blessed with health and mobility. That blessing can be used to share goodness and loving support to those who need something. Younger families can help older ones and older ones can help younger ones. All relationships require mutual investment which creates mutual benefit.
- We felt that we needed to regularize what we are calling low-impact gatherings like the recent Sunday Game Night, which attracted 50 people (some were our youngest members and there were slightly older members, too). It was a way to know each other in a multi-generational activity that needs only a little bit of planning and support. We hope to offer a bird walk, more game nights, and some potluck gatherings in the next year.
- Service Saturday – We started Service Saturdays last year and they were a big hit. We live in a community that needs our attention. On March 18th, we will make sack lunches with toiletries that we will take to our homeless neighbors downtown. Last year, we made and delivered 150 sack lunches. This year, we plan to do more and to find other places to visit. Yes, it is a great gift for our friends, but it is also important for us.
- Refugees- Refugees are in the news right now, but even before the executive action a little over a week ago, we knew that this was something important to address. Jesus and his parents were refugees in Egypt when they were escaping the wrath of Herod. Jesus welcomed all people into his communities. Welcome and hospitality are key to Jesus’ vision. I have a contact at a local non-profit working with refugee interpreters from Iraq and Afghanistan (who have helped American military operations). I will be inviting him to speak to us during a Sunday forum, so we can learn how to best plug into this ministry.
- Which brings me to something else that the Vestry plans to do. We want to invite speakers, like the expert on refugees, to speak on relevant topics. Do you know people whom we should invite?
- Over the next few months, we will have the opportunity to participate in Alpha in the diocesan pilot project at the Cathedral and the Hope Initiative for those providing care to parents, spouses or children.
St. Patrick’s is ready to tackle these important initiatives which are aimed at helping us grow deeper and in membership.
Read the rest of This Week at St. Patrick's!