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What makes St. Michael’s distinct in our living the Gospel?

What makes St. Michael’s distinct in our living of the Gospel and understanding of Christ at work in this place at this time?
When asked this question as an ice-breaker at the World Café Sunday August 18th, this is what you said:
¨ Our OUTREACH makes us special. It is creative and we don’t let the limitations of our physical plant limit what we do and the way we do outreach. Our outreach has breadth. It has helped us partner with other churches and groups more productively. We continue to increase our scope. The less fortunate are not forgotten.   We walk the walk as well as talk the talk. We “do the Gospel”. Our outreach at St. Matthew’s is distinctive. We are exceedingly generous with our Gifts-in-kind (God’s helping hands Laundry, Angel Bags, Gift Cards, Gifts of the heart, Backpacks). Power of our outreach ministries-in the community-not just our money but our presence too. A good feeling on reaching out to less fortunate. Doing things in community as well as feeding ourselves.
¨ We are thoughtful (several ministries send cards for a variety of reasons).
¨ Policy to do fundraising outside the budget for outreach. We support agencies with more than money. We go out of our way (Especially with the yard sale) to connect the stuff we have to places that can give it to those in need.
¨ We have a variety of opportunities in which to participate. A variety of Adult Education. The programs are inclusive and welcoming.
¨ Worship-we have three distinctive services. Beautiful Liturgy. Vibrant music and worship. Sermons address social issues. The “heavy-duty preaching”. We have a diverse group and plentiful group of preachers who share numerous perspectives. A high standard of preaching.
¨ Impressive welcome to new comers and visitors.
¨ Active and committed congregation that offers a feeling of community. We are very inclusive and welcoming. We have a strong sense of acceptance and love. Many parishioner participation opportunities in order to involve many people.
¨ Clergy is very active and engaged. The clergy do what they preach.
¨ We can talk about difficult topics.
¨ Leadership: We have gifted parishioners to lead and guide other programs such as documentaries. We produce a lot of leaders-at diocesan level too. Members can tap into the ministry that suits them- it’s a good “garden.”
¨ We reach out to those who are loosely affiliated with St. Michael’s-and appreciate them-like those who work on the yard sale.
¨ We are very vibrant -lots of passion for everyone and lots of community service outreach.
¨ The cover of the bulletin says it all: We are delighted that you are here to worship God with us today! St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, centered in Jesus Christ, is passionate about accepting the invitation to grow in God through love and acceptance. It is our desire to share God’s love in action with works of Grace and service. We are inclusive and welcoming of all God’s people.
When I read through these comments-I get an amazing sense of God’s peace. This all resonates with me as well and I feel so blessed to be with you doing God’s work in the world around us at this time in this place. May God bless you and continue to bless our work! When we say it out loud, it is truly amazing all that we are doing!
Rev. Mary

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