The Body of Christ consolidated at SsAM.
A stewardship witness by Pat Hampton for November 26, 2023.
The Invite-Welcome-Connect Ministry is a major tenet of our Christian belief and faith. Another definition is stewardship, which is the main work of the church. We are the church, both individually and collectively. Thus, we don’t just go to church, we are the Church in the world. As believers in God, followers of Jesus Christ and supported by the Holy Spirit; we committed ourselves at our Baptism to “proclaim, by word and example, the Good News of God in Christ.”
Over the years, Invitations have been extended by word of mouth, special services to/for broader community consumption, and social media. We INVITE people to stream our Sunday and mid-week services; we have a website section where people can sign up to be contacted by the Rector, as well as information about who we are and our community partners, just to name a few. Please read the weekly eBlasts to be informed about all that is happening at SsAM, on a weekly basis.
Once the invitation has been made, then we WELCOME all who come to our doors and all who sit outside our doors. We are intentional about other ways to welcome people into the Beloved Community. Do we wear or name tags, which is not for those we know but those who don’t know us(the stranger in our midst); do we speak to strangers in the pew next to us; do we help someone to follow the service; do we invite them to take Communion with us? Yes! These acts of welcome are crucial to us being a welcoming community. I am sure you can think of other ways to be welcoming, and that is our charge and responsibility going forward. We need every member’s input and participation.
So, if we have done a good job of inviting and welcoming people who are seeking a closer relationship with God, whether or not they join SsAM, how can we CONNECT them and ourselves in the beloved community? During the Season of Creation, we have heard/read reports from some of our current ministries, i.e., Children’s Chapel, Youth and Young Families, Episcopal Church Women, the Rector and Senior Warden, Environmental Justice, Health and Wellness, Community Advocacy and now: Membership (Invite, Welcome, Connect). All these ministries serve as connections within SsAM and in the broader Wilmington community to support the overall purpose of helping to spread the Good News.
It may seem that our plate is full, and it may feel that way sometimes, but remember, we are the hands and feet of the One who has abundantly blessed us all who profess to love God. As we continue our journey of being the people of SsAM, let us love God, pray for guidance, hear what the Spirit is saying to each of us as we strive to use our skills, talents, treasure, and Spiritual Gifts for building up God’s Kingdom here on earth. Let us pledge to continue our mission of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, housing the homeless and bringing the love of Christ into the world through our acts of justice and mercy, as we continue to walk humbly with God.
Chair, SsAM Membership Ministry