For St. Paul’s, our identity is summarized in our motto: Believe. Befriend. Be.Loved. These values are reflected in the features common to all communities and enhanced by our faith in Jesus Christ.
Like all communities, we share these characteristics: Ask yourself...
Shared identity. St. Paul’s community members share a sense of belonging defined by our common commitment to a life of faith expressed through liturgy and sacraments. We embody our faith by caring for our neighbors, the earth, and one another as we participate in worship and church activities. Where and how often do you participate?
Interdependence: Like every community, there are clusters of friend groups and family groups at St. Paul’s. There are also groups that gather for a common cause: Adult Formation, free-range choir, committees, and teams each provide mutual support. Have you found your place for relationships?
Communication: With the help of Metal Priestess, our communications specialist, we have gotten better at getting the word out about how we honor Jesus in worship and in action. But we all need to be communicators! Sharing prayer concerns, inviting friends, celebrating life events, and sharing opinions and ideas enriches us all and enhances our sense of being loved and belonging. Communication is essential for building and maintaining relationships at St. Paul’s. Are you communicating your joys and burdens with the community? Are you feeling connected and informed?
Diversity: One of the sweetest things about a church community is the diversity of ages and the socio-economic status of its members. We are also diverse in our gifts and capacities. As we grow in relationships, we learn to appreciate the gifts of those who are different from ourselves. This is one of the key reasons Jesus so emphatically modeled inclusion as a discipleship practice. How are you honoring those different from you at St. Paul’s and intentionally befriending them?
Shared spaces: We have a beautiful worship space and parish hall. We have a lawn that accommodates barbecues and events. There are so many ways our spaces cultivate community. What spaces do you use most and least (if you attend in person)? What insights does that give you about your participation in community here?
Collective action: We regularly host neighborhood meetings, support air quality monitoring, and share resources with our neighbors in need. We have determined that serving the poor, and sharing food, books, and Narcan/Fentanyl test strips supports our values. How else might we advocate for our community?
St. Paul’s is so important! The Bible tells us that the church is the embodiment of God’s very self (I Corinthians 12:27) That’s a high bar! So often we don’t meet it. But when we do, we become a city on a hill, a beacon of light in darkness, hope bringers and the voice, eyes, hands, and ears of Jesus Christ in this world. Our job is crucial.
Participating in a church community may feel optional, but for Christians, it isn’t.
We need each other, and the world needs us now more than ever. I’m so glad to be with you in this community!
God is at work among us, and the adventure is full of joy, hope and blessing. Thanks be to God.
Most of the blog articles are written by our Rector, The Rev. Rebecca Ragland