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.
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.
Saturday, April 10, 8:30-10 a.m. (ZOOM) Vestry Consultation with the Rev. Renee Miller
Saturday, April 24, 8:30-10 a.m. (ZOOM) Vestry Consultation with the Rev. Renee Miller
During the month of May, the Rev. Renee Miller will join the Clergy-Staff Team for one of their weekly meetings to engage large and small-group conversation as part of the process.
Saturday, May 8, 9 to 10 a.m. (ZOOM) Parish Town Hall Meeting: Congregation plenary consultation and small-group breakout rooms with the Clergy, Wardens, and Vestry hosted by the Rev. Ollie V. Rencher, and facilitated by congregational life consultant, the Rev. Renee Miller.
Purpose: Following two April meetings of the Vestry with Episcopal priest and congregational life consultant, the Rev. Renee Miller, all members are encouraged to attend a one-hour Zoom meeting to reflect on the current landscape and future of the Church. Like all faith communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Grace-St. Luke’s must now explore and ultimately reimagine how we approach worship, formation, pastoral care, service, community engagement, music, fellowship, recreation and wellness, and more.
What are our values and essentials? What offerings will need to adjust and/or pause for a season? What do individuals and households need to be nourished spiritually and stay connected to GSL and one another? What things will be key to how we maintain, sustain, and thrive in this new world era? If you are interested in the future of Christianity and life at GSL, this parish community event is both for you and will invite your input toward what lies ahead.
Contact the Rev. Ollie V. Rencher, Rector (orencher [at] gracestlukes [dot] org, 901-252-6320) or one of the Wardens (Senior Warden Charlie Pazar, Junior Warden Anna Robbins) through REALM.