Thoughts on Vestry Retreat
Objectives: By the end of this retreat,
This pastevening, the Vestry and clergy of St. Margaret's convened at Loyola on the Potomac, a Jesuit retreat center, to pursue the objectives listed above. I must admit that I chuckled when I read the part about getting to know the things about ourselves that would "help them work successfully and effectively and...provide opportunities for growth."
"Opportunities for growth" usually entail confronting the tough patches of relationships. "Opportunities for growth" are often challenging. And when you want to work as a team, they are critical.
For these reasons, I wanted our team to gather with our facilitator Kimberly Fletcher, to consider our strengths, our gifts and determine how we were going to carry out the job we've been called to do.
As with any St. Margaret's gathering, there was a lot of laughter. Your Vestry and clergy genuinely like one another (and trust me, this is a blessing!).
There was also the sharing of concerns: how do we manage different expectations? How do we improve communication? How do we ensure the continuation of vital ministries and the stewardship of our resources?
These questions are not ones that invite easy answers, but they are the ones your Vestry team will be focused on this year. One thing that we know is that the Mission and Ministry of this community cannot be carried out effectively by a handful of people. We have amazing leaders in this church, and we need to deepen our leadership bench.
I believe every member of this congregation has a gift to offer, a ministry to which they have been called. The Vestry and clergy need your gifts, and we will be asking you to share them. But you don't have to wait for us to ask! Tell us what your gifts are; tell us what the Spirit has been urging you to do; tell us what service you'd like to offer. At our retreat, it was revealed that chalice bearing is a "gate way ministry"; perhaps that is the place to start.
As with any church endeavor, there are bound to be lots of "opportunities for growth." But that is what being a community of faith is all about.