Did you know Epiphany has a mission statement? I didn’t, but Jean Kerr remembered it and has provided it to Father Arnold. Developed during our parish’s uncertain birth, it rings with hope for the future:
The purpose is to establish a ministry in the Episcopal tradition in the community of Tallassee and the surrounding area in order to worship God in the Holy Eucharist, teach the gospel, and carry on the work of Christ.
Lately we’ve been having lots of conversation about an updated mission statement that can help us move our ministry forward. After a brief detour (that I caused by wanting everybody in the church to embrace my passion about food as ministry), we have been guided by two principles. The first is that our mission statement should be poetic enough to inspire us; the second is that it should be short enough that all can remember it.
Our small group at First Thursday last night, acutely aware that it had no portfolio or authority, nevertheless agreed to offer you two forms of a mission statement so we can continue the conversation. Here they are:
Option #1: “The purpose of Episcopal Church of the Epiphany is to know Christ and make Him known.”
Option #2: “The purpose of Episcopal Church of the Epiphany is to know Christ and make Him known to all through our open doors, open windows, and open hearts.”
After that meeting, Amanda and I reflected on the original mission statement and considered how we might adjust it incrementally rather than discarding it in its entirety. We particularly like the three-part task statement of worship, teaching, and carrying on Christ’s work. If we as a group decide to explore this option, our suggestion of a restatement of it is this: “The mission of Episcopal Church of the Epiphany is to worship God, share the gospel, and carry on the work of Christ.”
As you reflect and pray on these and any other options you consider, I hope you’ll ask some questions about it:
- Does it reflect God’s plan for our ministry?
- Does it inspire me?
- Would I remember it?
- Would it guide our ministries? That is, would it help us know what ministries are appropriate and what ministries are best left alone?
During the next few weeks we will be talking together about our mission statement. It’s essential that we develop consensus about our mission. It’s not essential that we do so quickly or that it be one of the two options shown above. It is possible but not necessary that we could reach consensus as early as Pentecost on May 27.