Since before I arrived in July to serve in new ministry at GSL, I have been amazed by the countless ways and number of people through which this parish community serves God. Now that I am here to join in what has been entrusted to the parish since its establishment in 1940, digging in to all that currently makes us who we are, our common call to “shared ministry” is clear. It also is evident that Memphis needs GSL and GSL needs Memphis. Each would benefit from the experience of one of our promoting taglines, “Finding God in the heart of Midtown.”
Through shared ministry and commitments to a threefold concept of stewardship (time, talent, treasure), we truly can respond to the mission of the Church, which is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ. The Episcopal tradition and Prayer Book remind that the Church pursues its mission as it prays and worships, proclaims the Gospel, and promotes justice, peace, and love, all to be carried out through the ministry of all its members. May we never forget all that we are and all that we offer comes from God.
Indeed, together, we can do much in the name of Jesus. During the remaining months of 2018, expect to learn more about ways that you might share in God’s ministry and who (staff, vestry, team leader, clergy) might support your prayerful and passionate engagement of stewardship (time, talent, treasure) to support life at GSL.
At the September 18th meeting of the Vestry, my Associate Rector, the Rev. Amy George offered this meditation based on our common call to shared stewardship of God’s ministry:
“In Exodus 18:13-27, Jethro observes Moses’ leadership style (doing it all himself) and offers this critique: “What you are doing is not good. You will surely wear yourself out, both you and these people with you. For the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone…So Moses listened... and did all that he had said. Moses chose able men from all Israel and appointed them as heads over the people...” We must all remember why we are doing this (ministry). So regardless of the committee, don’t forget to put Jesus on the agenda. Let us pray: Dear Lord, we elect, but you confer authority. We occupy roles, but you form hearts. We are sensitive to who has power and who wants power, but your Son took his place among the weak. Help us to care more about vision than about viewpoint, more about servanthood than about rules, more about mercy than about merit. Help us to have the courage to lead by serving and putting aside the world’s easier ways. Help us to emulate the Apostles, not in the early days when they craved power and preference, but in the latter days after Calvary, when they prayed only for courage and wisdom. All this we ask in the Name of One who led by serving and suffering. Amen.”
God’s peace and blessings as we try,
The Rev. Ollie V. Rencher, Rector