Sunday, January 17, 2010

Common Ministry Summary

Presented at Grace Church on January 17, 2010 by Roger Perna and Wanda Miller

The following information is a very brief summary of ideas that the Common Ministry Committee has compiled in the past few months as we have been preparing to decide if we, as a congregation at Grace, want to pursue the avenue of Common Ministry as we have been invited to do by the Diocese of Southern Ohio. The congregation will make this decision on Sunday, January 24, 2010. The information in this paper was taken from the Common Ministry articles previously posted on the Grace Church Public File Cabinet.

At Grace Church, we have defined Common Ministry as a collaborative ministry, shared equally by all in the faith community. It holds the vision that all are united in the body of Christ, each with special gifts and unique ministries and all share in the Church’s work of reconciling the world to God.

In October, 2009, Bishop Breidenthal sent us an invitation to develop Common Ministry. He stated six Goals of the Common Ministry Program as offered by the Diocese:

  1. Develop a vision and mission strategy for your congregation.
  2. Identify a Mission and Formation team (Leadership Team) within the congregation.
  3. Create a vision and understanding of common ministry.
  4. Identify gifts within the congregation and develop ministry teams utilizing these gifts.
  5. Provide training to develop strong leadership of the Mission and Formation Team.
  6. Offer training to members of the congregation to support their ministries.

Congregations that decide to participate in the program will be asked to develop a mission strategy between February and April. A consultant will be assigned to each congregation to help facilitate this process. Consideration of the Church’s local context will be considered during this process. Bible study and prayer will a part of this discernment.

In May and June gifts workshops will be offered so members can discern their particular calling to ministry. During this time, the congregation will also identify their Leadership Team.

Beginning in late August the Leadership Teams of all participating congregations will begin having quarterly overnight meetings to offer support and training. The Leadership Teams will bring formation activities back to their respective congregations.

In the summer of 2011 evaluation of the program will take place.

Here are some additional thoughts that Bishop Breidenthal has expressed concerning Common Ministry:

Common Ministry is central to the call of this diocese to "proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen, as Messiah and Lord. We fulfill that mission chiefly by being ministers of the reconciliation between us and God, and between us and one another, won by Christ on the cross."

"Together, these spiritual practices form one practice, one name for which is common ministry: a ministry that is open, egalitarian, and collaborative. This name invokes the idea of the common, with all the resonance it retains when we speak of The Book of Common Prayer. 'Common' means everything owned by everyone, and so no secrets (transparency). 'Common' also means shared responsibility, and so shared leadership and mutual accountability. Finally, 'common' means shared identity, and therefore connection with the common purpose of ministry in the name of Jesus."

We hope that this information has been helpful to you in further understanding some of the details involved in Common Ministry.

Sincerely, Your Common Ministry Committee

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