Tuesday, November 4, 2008


November 4, 2008

Our Strategic Thinking Group has had long and fruitful conversations among ourselves and with the vestry around questions of our identity as a parish and why we might be relevant to anyone’s life in three or five or twenty years from now. What follows is a very first cut at a concise summary of all those conversations. I have tried to avoid any language that might be considered technical (salvation, righteousness, atonement, holiness, witness, catholicity etc.) and talk about the heart of what brings us here and keeps us coming back: a story that frames and shapes how we live, and a community of mutual care and concern that tells the story in word and deed.

"We are a people formed in and by a story throughout our lives. It is a story that helps us make sense of and live in ways that lead us to grow in love and trust, a sense of freedom, generosity and purpose. That story is told in Scripture and in the history of the Church. It is preeminently the story of Jesus in whose self-giving love and absolute integrity, we see the way of life. We choose to follow Jesus and join this particular community of faith, less in search of answers to theological questions and more in the way of navigating through the realities of life in an ever changing world as we tell the story in word and deed.

There are many stories we tell about All Saints’ which show that we especially value our commitment to social justice for all people, our place in the center of a great city, our diversity relative to other places and communities in which we find ourselves, and our sense that we offer the best that we can offer be it in worship, other celebrations, music, ministry or giving, always mindful that we live only by the grace of God.

We are at a time in our common life when we are ready, once again, to address the future in creative ways to ensure an inviting, vibrant and faithful church in the years to come."

What do you think? What is missing? What misses the mark or ‘feels off’? How can this be improved without being unduly lengthened? What is the role of the Holy Spirit in all this? Have at it.

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