Last week as I prepared for the Celebration of Ministries and Annual Meeting, I gathered a list of what we wanted to celebrate from the previous year, and frankly, that list was impressive. In 2013 our various ministries touched many lives. We found fulfillment in through our work, our stewardship, and our service.
- We welcomed new members and visitors;
- The kitchen project – we raised $18,000 and brought our kitchen up to code to take full advantage of the beautiful new stove;
- St. Agnes Guild continued their Events and Outreach with a new focus on grants to local organizations;
- We published our picture directory;
- Annual Pledge Campaign reminded us of our mission to baptize and bring people into loving relationship with Christ;
- First ever Youth Mission Trip to Whidbey Island and their ongoing partnership with Ryan’s House for Youth;
- Combined Youth Group activities, including Confirmation Program with Epiphany Parish, Seattle, Emmanuel Parish, Mercer Island, and St. Mark’s Cathedral with seven of our own youth and a total of 41 youth from three congregations;
- New Youth Room was created with a beautiful mural painted by the youth and furniture you donated;
- Dedicated volunteer Sunday School teachers and growing attendance;
- Pews project making space in worship for our brothers and sisters with mobility challenges;
- New WLP Hymnals;
- Automatic doors for our bathrooms upstairs;
- Improvements to our parking lot lighting;
- Doubled the number of meals we provide to Tent City 3, now serving every Tuesday;
- Hosting Tent City 3 on our property;
- New relationships with organizations like Hopelink-Shoreline, Greater Seattle Cares, and SHARE/WHEEL;
- Care Teams growing ministry of compassion and care.
We touch the live of others. By our generosity, compassion and by our worship and service to others, we invite others to feel God’s warm embrace.
We Don’t All Agree…
In any group, and in any congregation, there are going to be differences of opinion and different goals and visions for the future. Some of the things on that list that most delighted one person were a source of disappointment or disagreement for someone else.
But We Love to Worship Together
That is where we benefit from our Anglican identity. This was stated eloquently in our recent staff meeting when someone said, “We don’t all agree with one another, but we love to worship together.” In clear language, this captures the “middle way” of Anglicanism. We can disagree on even large issues and stay in loving relationship because we share a love for God and a love for worshiping together in the rich tradition of the Book of Common Prayer.
We don’t all agree with one another…but we know how to talk to one another when disagreements come up. We don’t all agree with one another…but we respect one another enough to listen to each other. We don’t all agree with one another…but we love to worship together. Somehow when the music starts and our prayers are being offered to God, the striving and struggle of being a community is put into a beautiful and worthwhile perspective. In our worship we join our voices together and thank God, “for assuring us in these holy mysteries that we are living members of the Body of your Son, and heirs of your eternal kingdom.”
Yours in Christ,