Initiated by the Rector, Wardens, and Vestry, GSL’s Reimagining Church initiative is a proactive means to explore our past, reflect on our present, and creatively consider our future approach for responding to the mission of the Church and a vision for our congregation. The Mission of the Church is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ. Grace-St. Luke’s Vision is to be a thriving community of hope, belonging, and healing through worship, parish life, and service, and who rejoices in the love of Jesus to transform the world.
WHY REIMAGINE THE CHURCH?
The approach to “life at Grace-St. Luke’s” changed drastically in March 2020 due to the smart flatten-the-curve restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with a majority of the world, who, how, when, and where we gathered for familiar worship, formation, service, and fellowship changed, and clarified that our future approach of “being Church” will never be the same again. Today, we are blessed by the gift of a COVID-19 vaccine that many have received, while others either have or might not be inoculated for a variety of reasons. Regardless of where society is on the vaccination journey, it is apparent that “church life” engagement and spirituality approaches definitely will look different.
Countless individuals and households of GSL (and in most faith communities) are clear that their engagement approaches will be different. While some of this sentiment is a result of being out of practice and what was normal, some also is due to many Christians either not having or possibly ever having had a high need for buildings, public spaces, and large events to support spiritual and faith journeys. For several decades, the diverse ways by which individuals have approached their faith has changed and continually evolves. Such is the reality for the variety of the approximately 500 households that constitute the body of Christ at Grace-St. Luke’s. Reimagining Church is an intentional step in our common life to stop, look at, and listen to who we are, and to imagine who we have the opportunity to become by all that we are and all that we offer in life at GSL.
The next steps of Reimagining Church resulted in the January 2022 creation and dedication of a Vestry commission area called "Reinvigorating Church." Led by two Vestry Commissioners, Reinvigorating Church serves to collaborate with fellow Vestry, Staff, Clergy, and lay leaders with the express purpose of collecting input from the congregation and the larger community in an effort to identify how we can better engage our congregation and our community to support the Mission and Vision of the Church.
Contact the Rev. Ollie V. Rencher, Rector (firstname.lastname@example.org, 901-252-6320) or one of the Wardens through REALM.