Saturday, July 14, 2012

Common Ministry at Grace Church after Three Years

In 2009, Grace Church was invited to participate in the first series of Common Ministry workshops conducted by the Diocese of Southern Ohio. As a status check three years into the program, the Diocese asked Grace Church to answer some questions. Grace Church’s answers follow:

1. Question: What do you consider the most important accomplishment coming out of the Common Ministry work?

Answer: The members of Grace moved from a concept of having a priest in charge who was responsible for everything to a concept of shared ministry where everyone shares responsibility for all that goes in the parish.

2. Question: What ministries have been strengthened or begun in response to the work?


- Grace clarified its values and mission.

- Grace created a Common Ministry Task Force which participated in the Diocesan Common Ministry program, organized several congregational CM workshops, did a health assessment, established priorities, and got them instilled in the various committees & teams before disbanding.

- Grace created a Mission & Formation Team with specific teams to handle: Newcomer Ministry, Pastoral Care, Worship, Outreach, and Christian Formation.

- Grace created a functioning Executive Committee which meets weekly.

-In reality all of our ministries have been strengthened because of the recognition that we are a priesthood of all believers.

-In particular the healing ministry has been strengthened.

3. Question: What connections to other organizations have been established to further the Common Ministry goals and initiatives?


- Grace has worked with Episcopal Healing Ministries to create new and innovative healing services to reach out seekers and to those alienated from organized religion. The second Wednesday service draws a variety of healers and seekers from all over Greater Cincinnati. Once a month, we have a more formal Healing Service at our 10 am worship time.

- Grace hosts Education for Ministry and typically has participants from various Episcopal parishes and other denominations.

- Grace is a member of the local Ministerium (organization of local ministers) and through them, hosts the community Good Friday service.

- Grace is a member of Christ’s Community in College Hill and contributes regularly to the food pantry.

- Grace participates in the community IHN program, and contributes our share to hosting homeless families.

-Grace attends monthly College Hill Summit meetings of community leaders, to stay plugged into the community and to offer our support when we can.

-Grace and Life Renewal Fellowship Church are together offering monthly free community dinners beginning in July 2012.

-Grace has come to understand that our facility is a great asset and is finding other organizations to use it that support our mission. Examples:

The Rainbow Band practices weekly (supports our inclusiveness values and our healing emphasis)

Yoga classes meet several times a week (healing).

Life Renewal Fellowship worships weekly (outreach).

NA meets weekly (outreach and healing).

Parolees come monthly to get community service credit, involving as many Grace People a we have parolees most months (inclusiveness and healing).

We offer our parking lot as overflow space for the neighboring College Hill Recreation Center (outreach).

Ballet Classes for girls 3 – 12 meet weekly (community support)

4. Question: What measures for assessing growth and accomplishment of outcomes were developed?


- Every team of the Mission and Formation Team has had specific goals for each year and developed plans to chart growth and achievement of those goals.

- Grace has had regular parish meetings to reflect upon the process.

5. Question: Who is responsible for this evaluation? If an initial evaluation has been done, please share the results.


- The mission council has responsibility for this evaluation, which was assigned to a co-chair of the Mission and Formation Team, Hawley Todd TSSF, to get input from the members of Grace Church to compile this report.

- Final form was approved by the Executive Committee.

6. Question: What is the future of Common Ministry in your congregation?


- Grace is committed to Common Ministry as the life blood of all that Grace does.

- Grace prefers the term “shared ministry” because it more fully captures our vision.

June, 2012

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