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About Our Ministries
What is a ministry? Good question and one that we are asked many times. At St. Bartholomew’s, ministry is seeking to invigorate God’s people to do the work God calls us to do in daily life and within the Episcopal Church. Our goal is to expand the capacity of the Church for effective and transformative mission in response to the Baptismal Covenant and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In answering the question, “Who are the ministers of the Church?” the Catechism of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer replies: “The ministers of the Church are lay persons, bishops, priests, and deacons.” The Catechism defines two aspects of the ministry of the laos (laos is Greek for “the people of God”): to bear witness to Christ and carry forward his work of reconciliation in the world, to take their place in the life, worship and governance of the church.
The baptismal covenant further defines ministry as fellowship, repentance, proclamation, service, and peacemaking.
Do you want your faith to be alive and an integral part of your week Sunday to Saturday and not just Sundays? A key part of ministry is vocation. Even in today's church there are some who still hesitate to call what they do ministry-- at home, at school, in the office, or the factory, on the farm, in retirement. We are absolutely convinced -- and see evidence all around -- that all these situations can be places of servant ministry, if what is done is done with mindfulness and compassion following the example set by Jesus of Nazareth.
The writings of the New Testament speak about the “Way” as code word for the manner of life of a disciple of Jesus. This word conveys a sense of movement, of walking a path to God guided by the Spirit. The community of Christians, the Church, has the responsibility to be your support and strength along the Way.
Lay Ministry within the Church
The Bishop of a diocese may issue licenses to lay persons to serve as Pastoral Leader, Worship Leader, Preacher, Eucharistic Minister, Eucharistic Visitor or Catechist. Requirements and guidelines for the selection, training, continuing education, and deployment of such persons and the duration of licenses are established by the Bishop in consultation with the Commission on Ministry.
A wide range of challenging opportunities exist for professional ministry in the church --for musicians, educators, youth coordinators, etc. There are professional associations for each specialized ministry. The National Network of Lay Professionals (NNLP) begun in 1984 is one organization developing a national support system for lay people employed in ministry of the Episcopal Church.
So what does all that mean? It means St. Bartholomew’s has a place for you. To live and work in a community of faith doing the work God calls you to do. Whether that be serving in worship, reaching out to the community, helping Americans incarcerated in prisons in Mexico or serving meals at a community shelter, teaching, caring for the sick or strengthening your prayer life you can find fulfillment in your life’s work in service to God at St. Bartholomew’s.
At St. Bart’s our philosophy is to help each person find their place in this community of faith.
We pray this prayer for ministries of the church…
Lord our God, You guide Your people by the ministry of all those in your church. Keep them faithful in obedient service to You that by their life and ministry they may bring You glory in Christ. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.