Ministries: Welcome Ministry
I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. [Matthew 25: 35]
We are becoming more intentional about inviting our neighbors and newcomers to Sun City to experience our worship, activities, and outreach. Once they arrive, are improving our capacity to recognize them and welcome them to St. Christophers. Once they are comfortable, we will connect them with activities and ministries that speak to their interests and passions.
PARISH FORUM - Our New Welcome Ministry
At the March vestry retreat, they featured a speaker by the name of Mary Parmer who described herself as a southern Baptist lady who, at a low point in her life, was invited to attend an Episcopal church by a friend, and became a new Episcopalian. From her experience she developed a method of ideas and resources designed to help bring people into Episcopal congregations as a way to grow our parish. There are three main areas to this method:
INVITE: Sharing the Good News with others (Evangelism)
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. [Matthew 28: 19-20]
Invitation is not only about inviting people into a relationship with you and others in our congregation, but it is also about inviting them into a relationship with God through Jesus and St. Christopher’s.
WELCOME: A Ministry of Hospitality
Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. [Romans 15: 7]
Welcoming the stranger is welcoming Jesus. Jesus paid attention to what was going on around him and especially to those people he encountered on a daily basis. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place – We want to offer this space, St. Christopher’s.
CONNECT: Empowering the newcomer and laity for ministry
For as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually members one of another. [Romans 12: 4-6]
We need to use our gifts or talents that differ according to the grace given to us, Connection is giving meaning to membership and discovering our talents that will involve us in the work of serving Jesus.
The idea of all this is to bring more people to our congregation (Invite), welcome them once they come through the door (Welcome), and help them find a place in our parish faith community (Connect).
A group of members of our parish, is forming to talk about and take action on ideas for St. Christopher’s to grow our parish through this method. This group is being called the Welcome Ministry. We are looking at ideas such as: talking to people in our neighborhoods, inviting people not only to our services but to our concerts and events, handing out information on St. Christopher’s to welcome visitors who come through our doors, and connecting our new members to our various ministries according to their interests. The Vestry is in full support of this and we would like to have your involvement in this ministry.
At this time you are going to hear from Killy Balabanis on Invite ideas and actions, then Frank Schlicting on Welcome ideas and actions, and lastly from Mona Guarino on Connect ideas and actions.
Contact: Marty Conner