So, if I start the Healing Ministry in January, set a one night a week study time for the work along with everyone getting to know one another again and start with time for prayers and practice, I think we’ll be ready to open it up to the public in June. In the meantime, Connie’s group is looking at becoming an official “group” with OSL (Order of St. Luke), and therefore would be able to help us get started as well. So, that’s a work in progress. I’ll have to type up a proposal to the Vestry for this one.
One of the priests spoke about a workshop he’d attended on Congregational Development, and that so many people operate on a “scarcity mindset”. A scarcity mindset ensures that all decision making is based on the concept that you’ll never have enough and that you can’t create more. For many, this has to do with money, but for churches, it’s more about people. My church has approximately 7 people who attend on a regular basis. The concept of scarcity mindset is well known to us. But, I’d like to go about changing that.
First, the concept of the lamenting Psalm comes to mind. Even when we are lamenting whatever the problem is, by the end of the Psalm, there is an assumption that God has/will fix whatever it is, and thus, the lament ends in the joy of thanksgiving. So we need a way to get from the scarcity mindset to the concept that God has caused us to prosper, and therefore our mindset should be one of abundance, making decisions from that mindset, rather than that of scarcity. And while this is an easy intellectual exercise, I need to find a way for me to actually live it, so that I can model it for the congregation.
An idea currently tickling at the edges of my brain, but not actually concrete as yet, has to do with the lovely priest who came up to me and said, “we should be acquainted.” Odd wording, I thought, so I asked why we should. He said that he had the eastern most church in the state, while I had the western most church. Thus, we should be acquainted and show that our churches, while small, are simply part of a larger, cohesive whole. So I want us to do something along those lines, perhaps developing a “sister church” relationship or something like that.
The last idea I had actually came from the Bishop’s final sermon at the convention. This is paraphrased, but you’ll get the idea:
Everyone stand up. Now imagine that every one of your faults, sins, foibles, etc. is visible. On your skin, at your feet, piled high in front of you. Now look around – everyone in this room has their own pile in front of them, and before you know it, we’ve filled this church to the ceiling. And now imagine (and here he opens his arms wide) that Christ is there in front of you, and says, give all of that to me. Let me take the burden from you. And watch how your pile diminishes and Christ is completely covered in the sins of just the people in this room. But now look at Him again – and see Him standing there in all His glory, majesty and might. We each have the opportunity, every day, to fall in love with Christ – to try to be equal to His great love for you. Love is a choice – and Christ has already made His.
He gave an interesting statistic, that people in England were complaining about the do-nothing Church of England, and nobody was interested anymore, etc. Until some reporter did a piece on volunteer hours, and just how many volunteer hours were performed by people in the Church of England. In just England alone, they performed approximately 1.9 billion hours a year in volunteer work. Someone put a price tag on that, and how much more the government would be paying for such services, and people stopped complaining. But he pointed out that volunteering is a great way to show your love for Christ, for God’s creation.
So I thought an ad campaign centered around, “Fall in love every day…” might be interesting.