Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Dream Dreams – The Parish Festival

In April we held the Parish Festival – This is YOUR Church.  I committed myself that Sunday morning to summarizing the Saturday afternoon, which was the Dream Dreams session. Hopefully, I have taken the ideas and organize them in such a way that we can move forward, taking the energy and dreams of that time together.

One of the main characteristics evolving for St. Paul’s Parish is that of inclusion.  We have worked for some time to create an atmosphere of inclusion.  We want to be a community that is truly welcoming.  It is one thing to smile at people and offer a warm handshake at the Peace, it is quite another to create a manageable and joyful process of belonging; of moving from outsider to member.

It was clear during the Parish Festival that we are already doing a lot of things well and we should affirm those things and build on the good ministry that has been accomplished and continues to be accomplished in the Parish.  This is particularly true of our social action and outreach efforts.  There is recognition that our effort and resources should also be utilized in addressing core issues that lead to poverty.

A great deal of thought was given to inclusion of youth in parish life.  A commitment of youth and children usually impacts the whole family.  Anything we do in this regard needs to take this into account.  Therefore, a clear desire of our Parish is to do more to engage children, youth and their families in the overall life and ministry that is St. Paul’s Church.

Sunday morning worship is at the core of who we are and we recognize a need to continue to allow the liturgy to evolve and be meaningful to the people who worship here.  There is a need to augment out worship planning with interested people.  A simple, yet obvious example is that the Prayers of the People ought to be just that – prayers of the people, and not what the rector can manage to write during a busy week.

My hope is that we will, if these categories ring true for the others who attended the Parish Festival and if they are otherwise generally agreeable, let these four dreams inform our ongoing renewal as a faith community. 

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