Vision and Mission
The Vision of
St. Paul’s Church is:
To show the Transforming Love and Justice of God in Action.
Our Mission is to be a
Christ-Centered Community living out our Baptismal Covenant
with Joy and Thanksgiving.
The Standing Committee Structure of St. Paul’s Church, Charlottetown
During the Parish Festival – This is YOUR Church we identified four principal ministries. These, plus the property, finance and executive committees forms the basic element of ministry development at St. Paul’s Church. This is a brief explanation of the six standing committees of Parish Council.
1. Social Justice: It was clear that there was an understanding that we are already doing a lot of things well and we should affirm those things and build on the good ministry that has been accomplished and continues to be accomplished in the Parish. This is particularly true of our social action and outreach efforts. There is recognition that effort and resources should be utilized in address core issues that lead to poverty.
Our hope at this Potluck is to develop a plan for responding to people in need whether they are our parishioners or others who come to us. It might also be wise to work with other organizations (churches, government, and others). We’ve considered: what is it like for the stranger to approach us; what is it like for our parishioners and; how to make it better for everyone?
The consensus was that we have three priorities:
a. Congregational and Community needs.
b. World concerns such as relief efforts and the environment.
c. Fund raising to support the ministry of groups one and two.
We recognize the need to work in tandem with the other Churches on Prince Street and in the province and diocese. We need coordination (coordinator/administrator). The developing of a greater knowledge of “the system” will benefit our efforts. Networking with others and the sharing of information will help.
We know that we can do the ministry we’ve been called to. We can work together and give real and material help to people. We have the talents and abilities to continue the great work that has been done. We are to remain good stewards of the funds and other offerings that have been entrusted to us. We recognize that much of the work might be advocating on people’s behalf, helping them to work “the system.” It is importance that the first contact people have with us be good, respectful and genuine. Part of our ministry will be to give people hope and offer them morale and spiritual support. A sense of mentoring people could be continues.
In recognition that our world is not perfect and the Church has a role and voice to help bring justice we will work with other Churches, government and others to make things better for everyone. There is a need to network with a variety of people and groups, to share information, working together and advocate on behalf of those in need and the Earth. Fair wages, affordable housing and the environment are a few of the things we are interested in considering.
Being good stewards implies a willingness to make our opinions known; that social justice, from time to time means action. God has blessed us with the talents and abilities needed to be bold enough to do what needs doing. We will promote the work and ministry of the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF). Being good stewards means raising the funds that are required to accomplish our ministries. We can work with others, we can network and share information regarding outside funding sources. We can fundraise within the parish. All the talents and abilities we need to be creative in our fundraising efforts we already possess.
2. Belonging: The main character evolving for St. Paul’s Parish is that of inclusion. We have worked for some time to create an atmosphere of inclusion. We want to be a community that is truly welcoming. It is one thing to smile at people and offer a warm handshake at the Peace, it is quite another to create a manageable and joyful process of belonging. We want to make it easy for people to join St. Paul’s and we want to longtime members to deepen their sense of belonging.
We value family, tradition and community. We will encourage programs and social interaction that enables people to live in the power of the resurrection by the Grace of God.
No Roadblocks: Anyone and Everyone
Emerging from the Parish Festival, “This is YOUR Church” the whole idea of belonging was once again acknowledged as a priority for St. Paul’s Church. We have considered what it was like for us joining the Church; what we’ve heard from others about their experience; and how we can make it better for everyone. We acknowledged that developing a sense of belonging is important for people new to the parish but that it is also important to maintain a sense of belonging for long-time members.
Perhaps one of the most profound images that emerged from the discussion was that of roadblocks. We want to remove as many roadblocks as we can, and for those we can’t, we help people navigate around them quickly and safely.
Without stealing away from one of the other priorities (worship) we recognized that one of the principle ways people experience our community is through our common worship on Sunday morning and there are things we need to be aware of that could be helpful. On the one hand, the Church is people and each one of us needs to continue to be open and welcoming to the stranger and the familiar. On the other hand, the clergy need to continue to preach engaging, thought-provoking and accessible sermons. Our theological stance in the world is expressed both ways and we might consider having a brochure for seekers to take away, that expresses clearly who we are.
Several ideas were generated in the discussion at the Potluck. Parish Council will review them and see which can be accomplished. Some of the ideas are: breakfast between and after services; invited others to social events or activities outside the church; encourage groups to form (men’s, women’s, youth, widows for example). We could publish a book for young children to explain the Church and Christianity; develop a group that visits the sick and shut in; send “thinking of you cards.” We could have the Church-building open during the day to the public; be “Parish Hosts” for concerts and other activities in the church; host kitchen parties. We could utilize our signage; advertise services in Friday’s Guardian; advertise events beyond the congregation and out into the community; have a QR code to access website on phone; improve the website; and, develop a regular newsletter. We need an updated parish directory. We could publish a leaflet to hand out to newcomers and visitors. We could host Sunday evening concerts, worship services, other music or speakers; host Seeker Suppers.
3. Children/Youth/Families: There is a clear desire to do more to engage children, youth and their families in the overall life and ministry that is St. Paul’s Church.
You can’t fit square pegs into round holes. Often, that’s exactly what Christian communities try and do. “You can join us if you’re square like us,” is an invitation that will likely fail. If something has to give, has to change, perhaps it’s the Church.
The change might even be as simple as defining who we are more clearly. Perhaps one reason people are not attracted to communities of faith is that they are already feeling judged and unwelcomed by us. If we do a better job of re-branding the Church as a community of love, mercy and social action we might be better positioned to proclaim the Good News of God’s love more widely.
It is widely understood that St. Paul’s Church is a place that truly welcomes all members of the family to participate in worship and during the times that we gather. We have realistic expectations of children during worship and church events. We know that seeing children and youth engaged in worship and other activities attracts people. Children are not being shushed, and are safe to roam and run around.
So, in recognizing that attending Church is not the norm for most people these days, how do we promote St. Paul’s and what that it has to offer? We want to see and welcome families in all their varieties. We want our children to see families that are different from their own. At Church we meet different types of people and all of us are seeking a relationship with God. When someone joins St. Paul’s Church they are joining our family.
Our hope is to create a community that is always open and welcoming to new people, a Church that is open to all. Youth and children absorb lots of things just by being amongst us and listening to the hymns, sermon and readings. So, a child in the pews or in the aisles during services is important, they are participating and listening even when they being quiet and still.
Some suggestions that have been made include offering children the opportunity to make play altars, vestments, and baptism fonts. The worship services cannot be too long. The break out room might be more useful if a volunteer was present. It needs to be cleaned up and re stocked with newer toys and books. A more welcoming space would include high chairs and stools for children. We need to develop lay leadership for our youth work; a core group dedicated to this work. Have children-talks sometimes in worship. Invite the youth to gather regularly for pizza with an activity or talk, or just social time. Explore branding opportunities; there are lots of free advertising, there’s parades, and our church signage.
4. Worship: Sunday morning worship is at the core of who we are and we recognize a need to continue to allow the liturgy to evolve and be meaningful to the breadth of people who worship here.
We are called to worship together with creativity in the presence of the Holy Spirit, and to be renewed and redeem through the Sacraments, the teaching of the apostles, music and prayer.
We wonder what it was like for people to visit St. Paul’s. Several people spoke about what they have heard from conversations with visitors at coffee hour. It was generally acknowledged that our worship time on Sunday mornings is open, welcoming and comfortable. Many people, who visit us regularly (annually) speak of our worship as being special (like we’re always doing something new), it is like coming home, like a reunion. The worship is also described as exciting.
Generally speaking there is good energy in the worship. We recognized that the building itself is a tremendous asset and we wondered how it might be utilized even more in worship.
Rather than becoming complacent, resting on our laurels, there is more that we can do to help enhance the experience of visitors and new (to us) people who worship with us. We can help people navigate more easily through the worship and thus feel more a part of what’s happening. Perhaps parishioners could act as guides to new comers.
It was generally agreed that we should keep variety in our worship, in the use of Eucharistic Prayers and in the music. The diversity we enjoy in worship leadership is a good thing that ought to be maintained and enhanced.
We need a functioning worship committee. We will focus on our corporate worship and develop ways to help us in our growth and understanding of the spiritual life and in so doing, result in more fully integrating worship and life.
Since liturgy is the work of the people not just the clergy, we wish to continue to promote lay participation in the worship. We will find ways to help people worship with joy and integrity. We will recruit, train and support our sanctuary guild, Eucharistic ministers, servers, readers, Latinists, choirs, and organists and instrumentalists and explore other opportunities to participate.
We will explore alternate forms of liturgy. We will support our rich tradition and exploration of music and by developing a Music Team. We will consider the use of drama, jazz, youth, the Sunday School, groups of families and outdoor worship. Different ways of doing worship could include different times and weekdays for worship. Exploring our worship could lead to more people seeing worship as a celebration of our life as God’s people. That could help lead us all to a more personal relationship with God and have an opportunity to bring others into relationship with God. It is important to fit into current times without compromising the Gospel.
Assessing these items would provide opportunity to discuss the balance between the traditional and the non-traditional. The Worship Ministry Team could also be involved with nurturing the spiritual development of people in many ways, such as: a healing ministry, retreats, quiet days, missions, ecumenical outreach, prayer and study groups.
Every visit to church to worship can be seen as an opportunity to change a life.
Our ongoing renewal as a faith community is reliant on addressing these four ministries.
5. Property Committee (Management and Care of Parish Property)
Attending to all matters relating to the property of the parish corporation of the parish including
(i) providing for a regular inspection of all buildings and grounds owned by the parish corporation, including, cemeteries and, at a time agreed upon by the Rector and the committee, regular inspections of the rectory,
(ii) investigating and recommending to the parish council established for the parish a continuing maintenance program and providing estimates of costs and supervision of approved work,
(iii) providing operational and janitorial services,
(iv) inspecting the rectory owned or rented by the parish, before the appointment of an incumbent, by a committee together with the wardens of the parish and the regional dean for the region in which the territory or district allotted to the parish is located,
(v) carefully and periodically examining all the buildings to establish the best means for the conservation of energy.
6. Finance Committee (Managing Financial Matters)
This ministry includes supervising all matters relating to the finances of the parish and each church that forms a part of the parish and for carrying out the duties and obligations imposed on it by the Canons of the Diocese and which shall make recommendations to the parish council established for the parish respecting
(i) the supervision of the finances of the parish and each congregation that forms a part of the parish, including a regular review of the work of the Treasurer of the parish,
(ii) adequate insurance coverage on all properties of the parish corporation of the parish,
(iii) the preparation of a budget of estimated receipts and expenditures for the ensuing year for the parish and each church forming a part of the parish for approval by the parish council established for the parish and each church council established for a congregation that forms a part of the parish and presentation to the annual meeting of the parish and the annual meeting of each,
(iv) the implementation of bequests.