The Four Pillars of SsAM – Evening Sessions to Pray, Share, Listen and Dream.
Thursday Evening Adult Formation on Oct. 4, Nov. 1 & 8, 5:30–7:00pm
Dear SsAM Family;
This year, our theme at SsAM is to focus our attention on listening to God, one another and ourselves. Our adult formation offerings will feature a book study, stewardship or spiritual and liturgical practices. There will be time to listen and reflect on what we are hearing as well as time for prayer, meditation or praying one of the offices from the Book of Common Prayer. These will be short courses of no more than 4-6 weeks with breaks in between.
The first course began Thursday, October 4th when we will focus our attention on stewardship by going deeper into the Four Pillars of SsAM. These four pillars were established a few years ago by the vestry at their annual retreat.
As we begin the Season of Creation October 14th, our focus will be on our responsibility to be stewards of all that God has gifted to us. I thought this was an opportunity to take time to reflect together on each of these pillars as a parish. This is especially vital as I have returned from sabbatical and see these sessions as a time for us to engage with one another for the work that God calls us to together. What follows is the flow and the theme for each evening.
Each week we will begin with a brief prayer service to focus our time together. We will then share a light meal (please sign up to let us know what you will bring for the meal). After we have had time breaking bread with one another, we will explore one of the pillars for the remainder of the time (about an hour). There will be exercises giving you an opportunity to participate, to listen to one another, and to ask questions and, I hope, to commit your time, talent and treasure to each of these pillars. A question we will ponder as we move from one pillar to the next is what value does each of them bring to our life together as a faith community. We should conclude each session by 7:00 p.m. which will allow members of our choir to participate and for folks to get home in the early evening. It would be great if you could come to all four sessions, but I know that schedules may not allow this. I hope you can at least come to three. Here are the dates and the specific pillar we will be focused on:
October 4th: Continue our Tradition of being intentionally an Inclusive Faith Community that celebrates relationships with each other and the larger community. At this session we will visit the Guiding Principles of the Parish developed in 1994 by the vestries of St. Andrews and St. Matthews.
November 1st: Have Engaging Worship that is Rich and Meaningful. The question we will ask ourselves is– what does rich and meaningful mean to each one of us.
Strengthen and Grow Youth and Young Families. We will take time to dream about where we wish to go with this important emerging ministry at SsAM.
November 8th: Create a Sustainable Financial Picture. We will look at the budget as part of this session and how these four pillars add value around crafting the budget for the coming year.
I strongly encourage you to attend these sessions for the purpose of prayer, fellowship, learning and listening to God and one another as we move forward together.