It has been my great privilege to be invited to walk with you as interim rector in this time of discernment and transition in the life of St. Matthews. I want to propose some of the work we will do together.
Teamwork: We will use our time together to hear what the Spirit is saying to St Matthews, and to reflect together on the St. Matthew’s story, values, and vision. What brings us joy and what are areas for growth in our common life? We will seek to understand what it will mean and what will be required of each of us if we are to claim the emerging vision the Lord is setting before us.
Community: In order to embrace the whole vision of God’s activity in our midst, we need to be balanced in our community life. By this I suggest we want to embrace contemplation, community, and missional action. While we might feel most at ease in one of these facets, a wholistic Christian vision embraces all three in a joyous interweave of unity and wholeness of being. Balancing these may require rethinking how we are to be together. We may need to be more intentional about our journey inward (disciplines of individual and community prayer, Scripture study, vocational discernment, nurturing, and study) with the journey outward (disciplines of service, activism, justice, kindness, and mission). The journey inward prepares us to do the journey outward and then sustains and encourages us to continue that work when the going gets tough. (The ministry of reconciliation to which all Christians are ambassadors can be hard and we need contemplation, community and missional action to sustain us). The journey outward continues to heal and transform us as we discover the places where we may have been complicit with the world, the flesh and the devil through our own silence and brokenness.
Gifts, skills, passions in the Holy Spirit’s control: Every local faith community is a blend of gifts, skills and passions with its own charism and interests. These prepare us to respond locally in the place we have been planted to administer justice, mercy and humility (Micah 6:8). Living out this holistic approach helps us keep our equilibrium and our spiritual health and makes us more effective in our missional action. How we at St. Matthews implement God’s vision will differ according to our gifts, skills, and passions. We will do this best when we humbly pay attention to accountability, spiritual discernment, contemplation, and study so that we may follow God’s deeper call and purpose.
May we reflect both the journey inward and the journey outward in all facets of our common life of contemplation, community and missional action.