Dear Saint Anselm’s,
Welcome to the season of autumn! This is often one of the most beautiful of the four seasons in our neck of the Lord’s vineyard. This fall, with all the natural disasters we hear about daily in horrific hurricanes, killer earthquakes and almost unquenchable wildfires, our prayer must be filled both with supplication for those who are suffering and gratitude for our own current experience.
As we enter autumn together, I want to say a further word about the Leadership Commissions, five in number, that we are now establishing. Each commission will take on the task of concentrating attention on one key aspect of our church’s life. The five are Outreach, Worship, Community Life, Formation & Education, and Administration. Each commission will have five members, four elected and one Vestry member. The Commissions will come together once each month on Leadership Night, usually the 3rd Tuesday of each month. Vestry will meet the same evening. Commission members will collaborate at other times as needed to get the job done.
A further word about what each commission is about:
Outreach - this is our mission in the name of Christ into the neighborhood, the area, and the world around us. Its purpose: service in the name of Jesus.
Worship - when it comes to our prayer together, our Eucharists and Morning Prayers, our music - what should these look and feel like? Are we giving true praise to God?
Community Life - what brings us together as a parish? Socially? In terms of fundraising? Why do we come together and how often? What kinds of gatherings can effectively invite others over and build our sense of commuunity?
Formation & Education - from children through adolescents and adults to seniors, at every age of life, how are we doing in sharing what we believe? What more can we do? And how?
Administration - we presently do a lot with almost no staff. How can we work smart? How can we get done all that needs to be done without wearing anyone out and with a smile? This includes our parish office and our buildings and grounds.
Some of you have heard me asking at announcement times on Sundays for nominations for the Leadership Commissions. Our need is for twenty (20) persons to make this work. As I write, we have 8 persons nominated.
And here’s the reason all this is important. As a noted church historian has opined, every time is a time of change, but not all times are times of revolution. Ours is a time of revolution. The society and culture in which we live and worship and serve is not as it was when the mission church of Saint Anselm’s was founded. They are not the same as the year 1982 when we became a parish church. They are not the same as in 1990 or even 2000.
I’ll say it clearly. The local churches that will survive, grow, and prosper are those who embrace the call to reinvent themselves for the needs of this moment and the ever-accelerating future. The others will not survive, nor do will they deserve to do so. Why? Because they will not be carrying forward God’s mission in ways that correspond to the needs and possibilities of this time. And make no mistake: there are both needs and possibilities aplenty.
The Commissions are one tool for we at Saint Anselm’s to broaden and deepen our leadership and the ranks of those active in carrying us forward in God’s loving arms into the future. So, now, you can expect me to be getting in touch with individuals personally to ask you to consider serving on one of the Leadership Commissions. I hope. I pray. I trust that out of faith and love for your church, you will answer me yes.
Yours in Christ,
Church of Saint Anselm of Canterbury