October 19 is the next All Ministries Monthly Meeting

“Blessed are those whose strength is in you…they go from strength to strength!” (Psalm 84)

NOTE: If you are part a liturgy group, at the next meeting on October 19 LeeAnne McDermott will be meeting with you to help with rota scheduling in Breeze – please bring your laptop if you have one.

We have learned from our recent Ministry Team/Leadership survey that people love working with one another at St. Mark’s. People are extremely appreciative of leaders who have held on, supported, and directed various Ministry Teams through incredibly difficult challenges. And yet this leadership can be demanding, especially in these challenging times of Covid and anxious adjustments. This reality was expressed also in our recent survey. Some leaders feel they have to take on too much on their own, some leaders and members of teams feel drained, meetings sometimes lack enough helpers and the vision or purpose or efficacy of the ministry suffers.

What can we do to support our leaders and ministries?

We hold onto our strengths and try to adapt so that we can go from strength to strength and do so together as a community! Here is our vision:

Our vision for our ministries is that there is connection, collaboration, and support between Teams; that Teams feel empowered; that members have a sense of purpose – both for their Team and the parish as a whole; that we would engage in proactive and creative planning; that people have access to more helpful tools to be effective; that each Team feels supported and connected to the wider community; and, most importantly, that parishioners and leaders are spiritually nourished! Our hope is that while volunteers helping at St. Mark’s offer their precious time and energy we all will leave our gatherings feeling MORE energized and MORE excited to lead and serve than when we arrived.

We believe that this hope is possible!

To that end, we’re excited to try something new. We will be engaging in a trial program year (September – May) of Monthly All Ministries Meetings.

These monthly meetings are for all planning groups, that is, any group, commision or team that regularly meets in order to coordinate and support a ministry in the parish (as opposed to  small program groups such as book groups or young adult gatherings.) This monthly gathering will begin and end with an all team plenary session which will include uplifting prayer devotions, the sharing of general updates and progress (good news!) and spiritual and practical resources that will be broadly applicable. In between these large group sessions there will be significant time for separate and focused Ministry Teams to have their own breakout sessions before all gather together again for a plenary closing. We hope that this monthly meeting can suffice for any specific planning for each team (with the normal follow up between meetings) and therefore will not be an “extra meeting” but rather, a better meeting for each team and the community as a whole.

The first meeting will be September 21, 7 – 8:30pm in the church (masks required), and will continue on the third Tuesday of each month at 7pm. We truly hope that you will put this time on your calendar if you are a member of any commision or planning team. If you are not presently a part of a team but are interested in exploring our various ministries this is also a great time for you to come and see what they’re all about!

These gatherings will be a work in progress. We’ll all learn how best to conduct them as we go. For questions, feedback, concerns or suggestions please feel free to reach out to Rev. Matt, Rev. Nikky, or Debie Thomas. We’re all excited to begin this experiment together and see what fruit it yields!