Rector’s Page

Rector’s Report Summer 2018

 

So, a lot is happening at St. Nicholas. We have Giant Steps joining us in September, and licensing and set up are coming into place. I believe that it is going to be a great partnership. We have our rentals falling back into place for the Fall and hopefully Seaside will remain with us into the new season. If all these things align we should be able to recover from our Summer financial losses, but we still need to decide on a Fall fundraiser and the Dinner Theater Group does not wish to do a Fall production. So, we have to put our thinking caps on about what can make us a few thousand dollars without exhausting the parish energy.  We still have to put on our Hunter Fundraiser that got postponed from the Spring due to weather.

 

I have known for some time that we need to build up a leadership team at St. Nicholas, but I wasn’t sure how to do it. A few years ago this was developing well through the growth in our lay readers team, but with the shift in services, combined with some key players moving away this team is not really functioning. During my summer readings I got an idea for how we might create a parish dream team. Really if we as a parish are going to evolve to thrive with and for the next generation we have to educate ourselves by studying what it is that God is calling us to do as disciples of Christ. One of the ideas that came out of our Lenten Call to action was the need to develop more small groups in the parish: to grow and develop as supportive communities to study and inspire one another in our Christian lives. I also have seen the value of the Gospel at the center of the circle which is a First Nation’s church practice that was shared with the clergy during by Holy Week keynote speaker Bishop MacDonald. What I would like to do is pair up these three ideas and develop a St. Nicholas Dream Team.

 

What I would like to see happen is that we develop three home study groups. Everyone from the parish would be invited to join, but we would pursue a number of people who would have the responsibility to attend one of these weekly groups which would be working their way through the Gospels and eventually the whole new Testament and perhaps if still going strong would tackle the Old Testament. Each night of study they would read a passage a number of times and ask the same five questions. 1) What stands out in this Passage? 2) What is the Passage saying to us? 3) What is the passage asking us to do? 4) What is the passage teaching us about discipleship? 5) What is the passage telling us we need to do as Disciples? Our dream team would meet monthly and bring the insights shared in the various home study groups and focus their discussion and dreaming around two questions: What is scripture teaching us about the church’s role in discipleship? 2) How do we reshape ourselves as church to better live into and accomplish this role of being disciples and making disciples? Action!

 

Some of our study groups could meet during the day, some in the evening and they would meet on different days of the week. This might allow the study groups to fit into more parishioner’s schedules. I know if we can make this happen that we will see the Spirit move powerfully and we will see growth even if that growth looks different than what the church has historically equated with growth. We will be developing stronger more faithful disciples and that will change the face of our church community as well as impact the wider community!

 

I continue to be faithful to my monthly Spiritual Direction, as well as visiting those in the parish who are ill or facing other crisis. I did not take Summer vacation, but I do have time off scheduled for the Fall. I am booking a trip to California in late September to visit my son and will take a week off to start my Doctorate studies at Acadia in late October. I will still have a few days remaining which I will use here and there as a study day when my studies require it. The Fall is also packed with Diocesan events like the Clergy Conference which I am required to attend and the Annual Vital Church Maritime’s conference which I have been asked to lead a workshop on church innovation in practice.

 

Blessings

Tammy+        Rector St. Nicholas Westwood Hills

Community Roots Summer Camp was lots of fun!