There is also witness to that seeking spirit with those who are working to create a renewed model for youth & family ministry. A follow-up meeting resulted in brainstorming a large number of diverse ideas. Many of these ideas involve going out into the community either with activities or with worship. Members of the group are currently prioritizing selections. In addition, four members from Grace went to the Diocesan Youth Presence Event held at DePere, WI. The day was spent discussing and de- veloping action plans for individual parishes. The scope of the models involved ways to expand involvement beyond a single individual as “leader” and over the course of development progresses to youth led activities. One idea that came out of the day for our parish was the development of ideas/programming that would “age”/”graduate” with youth as they do. It would include also outreach from the parish for while they are in college and beyond to remind them that they are still part of the Body. Currently in development is an “aco- lyte reunion” for college students one Sunday in January.
The Vestry Retreat was held at All Saints Chapel in Elkhart Lake on Saturday, Sept 13th. The day was led by the senior and junior wardens and included team building activities and videos which prompted great dis- cussions. We identified a number of areas of strengths as well as areas of “need”. Regarding church growth, though some may have thought the prime motivation was monetary, it was actually identified as “to share what we have (faith, hope, and com- munity) with others”. We also dis- cussed building upon our existing established relationships with the churches that share our “block”, our tripartite relationships, and the local jail in order to develop outreach via “stepping stones” where we build from solid, small successes instead of attempting to invent something new. It was a day spent seeking spiri- tual growth and filled with the Spirit. At a recent coffee hour, a parishioner was heard to say that when she heard about the vestry retreat she wished she could’ve been to our spiritual retreat!
This has been an amazing month with opportunities for all of us spiri- tually. It has also identified that we need to seek more. There is a power- ful work at hand here at Grace. We must remain vigilant because, as Father reminded us after Faith Alive, whenever Satan sees the Kingdom being moved forward, he will do his best to throw obstacles in our way. Remember, what we seek, we WILL find. Every good thing that has hap- pened this past month has come with blessings and growth. We have also seen attempts to distract and disrupt it. If we seek to build up the Kingdom, we WILL find ways to do so. If we seek to tear down the Kingdom, we will also find ways to do so.
In the coming month, we’ll have opportunities with the Blessing of the Animals (Oct 4th), hosting New Beginnings (Oct 4-5th), Walsingham Pilgrimage (Oct 10-11th), Steward- ship Sunday (Oct 18th), and Diocesan Convention (Oct 24-25th). All of these special spiritual opportunities in addition to our regular services, daily prayer opportunities, and educational opportunities. So many ways for us to share what we have with others who may be seeking.
On that beautiful day at the beginning of this month, we sang together:
Seek Ye first the kingdom of God, And His righteousness,
And all these things, shall be added onto you,
I am thankful that we are, together, seeking His kingdom. Together we will find.
Bobbi Kraft, Senior Warden