Ministry involves how we relate to each other in the church and offer support, encouragement and opportunities to grow in our Christian faith. But the gospel calls us just as Jesus commissioned His disciples to go out into the world around us, our neighborhoods, and seek to proclaim the gospel by engaging with people and building relationships.
How we do that can be as varied as the many cities and communities where we find ourselves. Ministry, although there are some parts that apply in all places, is very contextual. What is it that would be most faithful in Uxbridge? What is God calling us as the church to do in our community? Where is God already active that we can join in what God is up to? Where is the mission field possibilities on our doorstep and along our main street?
These are questions we always need to be paying attention to. And especially at specific points along our vocational journey as the church, like the beginning of a shared ministry together.
Early in September we will have a liturgy to celebrate the covenant we are making to work together here at St. Paul's, Uxbridge. I felt moved to write a hymn that speaks of the new beginning that builds on the faithfulness of the past as we venture into the future. Our ministry together is a calling to be transformed ourselves as we seek transformation experiences of God's grace in the neighborhood where we serve. This is our mission; this is our mandate; this is the gospel lived out right here in our parish and in Uxbridge.
The words that I have written are set to one of my favorite hymn tunes, "Woodlands" with a meter 10 10 10 10.
I pray that as we sing it on the evening of September 7, that we may feel that joy which comes from a spirit filled commitment to following Jesus and living out the kingdom message in who we are and in all we do here at St. Paul's.
O God, You Call us Faithfully to Live
Menter: 10 10 10 10
To be transformed by your abiding grace
We come with trust our ministry to thrive
To share the gospel hope within this place.
Abundantly, we’re blessed with gifts to serve
To minister and witness to the Word
To faithfully the hope of Christ preserve
A trusting spirit in us always stirred.
May this beginning build on faithfulness
The past foundations laid in time gone by
Accept our opportunity to bless
God’s Spirit is on whom we will rely.
The covenant we make with joy this day
To work together to discern God’s will
The future guided as we come to pray
And find delight in all that we fulfill.