Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Our mission ... if we choose to accept it.

At last month's Chapter meeting, we adopted a mission statement based on the core values that came out of the home meetings last year (Spirituality & Faith, Diversity, Communication, Growth and Service). The purpose of a mission statement is to guide the mission and ministry of the Cathedral and give focus to the broader mission we all share as Christians (The Great Commandment and the Great Commission - Matthew 22 and 28) and as Episcopalians ("to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ" -- BCP, p. 855).

We seek a deeper relationship with God and each other in Jesus Christ through:
*Celebrating the sacraments faithfully
*Proclaiming the Gospel boldly
*Embracing diversity joyfully
*Serving all passionately
as a Cathedral.

The heart of the statement is the first clause -- "We seek a deeper relationship with God and each other in Jesus Christ." In all things, Jesus Christ drawing us deeper in relationship with God and each other is at the center. Everything else is how we go about doing that.

This mission statement has come from listening to the word of God in scripture, the tradition of the church and the voices of the people (a pretty Anglican process). But a mission statement is only just words unless it is lived. And the first step in living it is holding it in prayer and asking God to guide us through it. So that's what we're going to do.

*We will not be having a regular Chapter meeting in July. Instead, I'm asking the entire Chapter and congregation to spend the hour between 6-7 pm Central time on Thursday, July 18 in prayer with the mission statement. Pray in whatever way you experience prayer ... the point is listen for how God is calling us through this mission to grow in deeper relationship with God and each other in Jesus Christ.

2) The main agenda item for August's Chapter meeting will be asking "what did we hear?" If you're not on Chapter, you're welcome to come to this meeting or to share with Chapter members the fruits of your prayer time.

3) Since our mission is growing in deeper relationship with God and each other in Jesus Christ, we need to keep Christ continually before us. So, beginning in August, we will be moving Chapter meetings from the Guernsey Room to the upper platform of the Cathedral sanctuary -- right in front of the reredos. We will set up tables there, continue to share a meal as we have had in the past, but our business will be conducted literally at the foot of the cross. I don't know how this will change our meetings, but I am convinced it will change them.

For now, our mission ... if we choose to accept it ... is to pray. To listen for God's still, small voice. To let ourselves be shaped by the Spirit so we can set our course into the future.

I can't wait to hear what your experience of prayer has been ... and know that I am praying with and for you.