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Our Mission: The When and Where

It is a great thing to have a mission statement and solid core values, but it will be totally worthless unless we actually enact it! We must set our mission in motion in such a way that is accessible and inviting.  Anyone who walks through our doors should be able to immediately discern our clear path of discipleship and how to get involved.

Here’s the path: Worship -> Grow -> Care. Now how do we do it?

Our access point is Sunday morning. If you are a member, Sunday morning is a given. Sunday is kind of what we Christians do. For our members, Sundays are for worship.

And if you are new, your first real contact with our church will likely be on a Sunday morning. Even if you are not an Anglican, or not a Christian, the liturgy of the word is open for anyone to come into the midst of our loving community and reflect on the meaning of life and the lessons implicit in the celebration of our faith.

Sundays are to Reflect and Worship.

Now, for Grow and Care. Of course, there are already many ways to grow and care in our parish already, but what we do not have is a clear path from one to the next. What we have currently is not so much a path as a mosaic. A mosaic can be a beautiful thing, but it doesn’t make a good map to follow!

We live in a complex world. People are busy. Families are busy. So let’s make it simple for everyone. Generations, on Wednesday nights, has been specifically crafted to provide everything we need to Grow and Care. And it gives us a clear-cut, straightforward path of discipleship that enables us to fulfill our mission and easily invite newcomers into the life of our church.

Worship -> Grow -> Care

Sundays -> Wednesdays

Our Mission lived out in real life: Clear. Simple. Straightforward. Discipleship. As I’ve said before, our mission is not another thing we do, it is the thing we do. Put the start date (9/14) for Generations on your calendars, and be prepared to grow together!

Father Brian

Generations

I think that the Core Values and guiding principles that you have chosen are excellent. What a foundation for building a future!

In accord with these values, I have had a number of individuals from a variety of stages of life coming to me since I started at Good Shepherd seeking more mixed-generation opportunities. Not just a few individuals, but enough to make me take notice. In response, I floated a few ideas that generated a great deal of interest among various groups within the parish. The idea that emerged after conferring with these groups is called, appropriately, Generations. 

Generations is intended to provide us with a setting where we can come together, on a weekly basis beyond Sunday mornings, as a community to develop intergenerational relationships, learn from one another, and become involved in one another’s lives. 

Beginning on September 14th, we will begin meeting in the Parish Hall every Wednesday for dinner together and fellowship. We will have communal, lay-led evening prayer together, followed by short presentations that are crafted specifically to bring all of our members from all generations together to helps us grow in our faith. We are even looking for ways to incorporate community service into Generations on a regular basis.

Generations will be an excellent opportunity. It is an opportunity not only to fill a need in the church, but also to put our core values and mission into practice. I hope you are as excited as I am!

Father Brian

Our Core Values

At Church of the Good Shepherd, We Strive to Cultivate:

1) Family-like Acceptance

2) A Space for Reverent Reflection

3) Peace and Harmony

4) Our Anglican Identity

5) A Living Tradition

6) A Home for Everyone

Having a clear mission is extremely important because of the influence it can, and should, have on every aspect of parish life. Because of this, a great deal of deliberation has been put into its formation.

This is where you come in. Our mission ought to reflect who we are, our deepest identity as a parish. And not only who we are, but also who we aspire to be. It should reflect our Core Values.

As you know, the vestry and I spent a great deal of time receiving your input and listening to all of you regarding our identity as a parish, and we thank all of you for your contributions. While studying your input, there was a great deal of overlap. From your responses, we were able to develop the following core values, upon which our mission is based.

Remember, these are your words, not mine. May we aspire to see them fulfilled in our parish life! 

Father Brian

Our Mission: The How

Worship -> Grow -> Care

 

This path for discipleship corresponds to the greatest Commandment, to love the Lord our God (worship) with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength (grow), and to love our neighbors as ourselves (care).

Our goal is to make this a reality for every single member of our church at every stage of life. Our path for discipleship is simple and applicable to everyone, no matter their age.

 

To reflect on life and encounter God by providing a way for everyone to:

1) Worship in beauty,

2) Grow together, and

3) Care for one another.

 

It cannot be said enough: our mission is not another thing we do; it is the thing we do. And the thing we do is make disciples. Our mission statement puts forward a clear and simple process for doing just that.

Father Brian

Our Mission: The What

In May, we took an exciting step forward and published our new Mission Statement. Our mission will make our ministry more impactful by uniting us around a single purpose. And if we are to choose to do one thing well, that one thing ought to be discipleship.

Most people know Matthew 28 as the chapter of the Bible that contains the Great Commission, in which Christ commissions the Church to “go into all the world.”

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

What most people don’t know is that in the original Greek, there is only one command in this entire sentence, and it is not the word, “go.” The one command the Lord gives in this commission is not to, “go,” but to “make disciples.” Everything else the Church does, even evangelism, grows out of making disciples.

So, what does the church do? First and foremost, it makes mature believers. And that is precisely what our mission statement is about. It asks the question, “How do we make mature believers in our context, with our core values, and with our parish’s needs and gifts.”

What we do is make disciples, and our mission statement is designed to give us a clear, simple way to do just that.

Father Brian

Welcome to Our Website!

Welcome to our website! We are very excited about all of the opportunities this new medium offers our church. It is a powerful tool for communicating who we are to newcomers and for improving communication among ourselves.

For many people, this website will be the first contact they have with our church. As such, our focus in design was specifically for the newcomer. Each picture, word, and page has been put together to communicate our identity and ethos in a clear, simple, and attractive way. Everything you need to know about us is right here at your fingertips!

Not only will our website improve the way we communicate with newcomers, but it will also help our parish with internal communications. Everything you need as an involved member is online—from forms and applications to calendars, events, and schedules. You can make donations and pledges online through our stewardship page. Even parish ministry updates will be available right here on this blog.

Please take some time to browse through our new site. We hope you will be as excited as we are about all it has to offer!

Father Brian Chase

Our Mission: The Why

As much as overzealous coaches and parents would like us to think that we should do everything at 120%, the fact of life is that 120% is impossible. Try as you may, all you have to give is 100%, and if you over extend yourself, that means something is getting the short end of the stick.

The same holds true for a parish, and if we as a parish overextend ourselves, we only end up with ineffective ministry and burnout. Many churches are crushing themselves under the weight of too many programs. The answer is not to do more, but to do less better. Instead of doing two things at 50%, or three things at 30%, or four things at 25%, let's do one thing and do it amazingly well at 100%.

That is why a mission statement is so very important. A mission statement anchors us and unites us in our identity with singularity of intent. By combining all of our efforts in the same direction with the same focus, we increase our efficiency and act as one.

That is why I am excited about our mission statement. Our mission isn’t another thing to do; it is the thing we do. 

 

"To reflect on life and encounter God by providing a way for everyone to: 

worship in beauty, grow together, and care for one another."

 

Father Brian