Sharing our abundance of gifts
"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms." 1Peter 4:10
Oftentimes our office receives inquiries about the various ministries the churches in our diocese serve. An easy enough question, but not exactly easy to answer. There are simply too many to keep up with. Over the years, most of us in the bishop's office have developed a mental list of some of the programs offered by our congregations...for instance, Christ Church (Pensacola) and Holy Cross (Pensacola) both have a thriving Brotherhood of St. Andrew's, St. Monica's (Cantonment) serves their community by giving away beans and rice, St. Mary's (Andalusia) is a part of Laundry Love helping those in need to wash and dry their clothing at a local laundromat; there are too many thrift shops to name; Holy Spirit (Gulf Shores) has six weekly AA meetings; oh, and St. Andrew's (Destin) provides bicycles to those who would otherwise have no transportation. These are just a few from the list of a many outreach ministries, formation classes, community programs, etc. all developed and sustained by parishioners who strive to be more like Jesus in this world. So, how do we connect individuals, churches, and institutions who own the ministry to the folks who are looking for or need the ministry?
The Episcopal Asset Map is exactly the tool built to fulfill the need for all Episcopal churches, big or small, to share their ministry offerings. Here is the link to our diocesan map, try finding your church pin (click on one of the blue triangles in your area). Are your church's ministries listed? If not, feel free to take it upon yourself to supply your church's or institution's ministry information by clicking on the Edit button on the screen. You have permission, and in my opinion, an obligation to share the abundant gifts of ministry with others. Help others by populating your church's ministry information on the map.