Our Collaborative has developed in so many fruitful ways since we began this journey in 2015. Our two parishes, each unique and rich in tradition, culture, and ministry, have continued to thrive as distinct faith communities while simultaneously entwining themselves in organic and God-glorifying ways. The Holy Spirit continues to work with deliberate timing as we discern God’s will for our collaborative, revealing opportunities for even deeper connection for worship, enrichment, and ministry together. It is with great joy that we enter a new phase of collaboration in our service and outreach ministries with the establishment of a Collaborative Service Commission.
Why a Service Commission? During last year’s Collaborative Forum on Christian Service, we began to discuss a shared vision of what constitutes Christian Service and how we can continue to respond to Christ’s call to serve as we move forward as a collaborative. We are blessed to have many meaningful and diverse service initiatives at both parishes, with so many dedicated parishioners bringing the comfort and compassion of Christ to those in need, in our community and beyond. Our new Collaborative Service Commission will be a support mechanism to provide assistance and encouragement, as needed, to our existing programs and those engaged in service, as well as a channel for exploring and incorporating new programs and new opportunities to serve.
Why serve? Christ’s foundational command to love is at the heart of the Gospel message. It is a love that is beyond human comprehension – it grows and builds by the power of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. There is no better expression of our love than the imitation our Lord Jesus Christ who came to serve and not to be served. We serve by the grace of faith, through the strength of God’s supply. Service allows us to discover and develop our personal spiritual gifts and to experience the joy of obedience to God’s will; it surrounds us with other Christians who support us in our walks with Christ and it increases our faith. During the wedding at Cana Jesus performs a miracle. The guests at the wedding aren’t witnesses to that miracle (although they gratefully enjoy its fruits.) The servers at the wedding witness the miracle. Water turns to wine before their eyes. God’s grace is poured out. Serving allows us to witness miracles. Service allows us to see God’s direct hand in the most beautiful parts of His creation.
What holds us back? It’s easy to become overwhelmed with doubt and fear – that we don’t have the right skills, or enough time, or that we aren’t needed or sufficient. Remember that God has used those who doubt and fear to perform unbelievable tasks in His name. From Moses to David to Paul, and of course the Blessed Virgin Mary, God proves we need only say ‘yes’. Indeed, He doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.
If you feel called to serve out of gratitude for what God has done for you in your life; if you want to share God’s goodness with others; if you want to bring the face of Christ into the lives of our collaborative community and beyond, please let us know by contacting the Service Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org.