RENEWAL WORKS - MARCH
RENEWAL WORKS UPDATE
WHY IS RENEWAL WORKS IMPORTANT?
A lawyer approached Jesus, putting him to the test with this question: “Which is the greatest commandment?” Jesus’ response was simple, if not easy. He said it was about love of God (with all your heart and soul and mind) and love of neighbor as self.
That singular emphasis on love of God and neighbor provides the foundation for RenewalWorks, a ministry in the Episcopal Church that focuses on spiritual growth by deepening love of God and neighbor in the lives of congregations, in the lives of ministries that animate those congregations, and in the lives of the individuals who bring life to those ministries.
“We have learned that there is a great spiritual hunger among Episcopalians,” said the Rev. Jay Sidebotham, director of RenewalWorks. “And we are discovering catalysts that can address that hunger. Basic spiritual practices such as daily prayer, scripture study, worship attendance, and serving the poor will lead to transformation.”
When the details of life press in, parishes, like individuals, can inadvertently move away from this singular, simple focus on discipleship to the more mundane but necessary actions of running a church: property and building upkeep, annual stewardship campaigns and recruiting volunteers.
RenewalWorks is a catalyst for refocusing parishes (and the individuals in them) on spiritual vitality. It has been tailored to the Episcopal tradition, adapting 10 years of research that has uncovered key characteristics of flourishing congregations. It will inspire our congreg-ation and leadership to rediscover who Jesus is, and what it means to follow him. Through a guided methodology of self-reflection, sharing and workshop discussion, RenewalWorks will challenge our parish to refocus on spiritual growth and to identify ways that God is calling us to grow.
Specific outcomes of the RenewalWorks process are unique to each parish, reflecting that community’s specific challenges and opportunities. They lead to the creation of specific congregation-wide growth initiatives, which clarify and elevate expectations for clergy, lay leaders and individuals. Personally, I’m excited to learn about the outcome from the analysis of our survey results and working together to develop our plan for rediscovery and renewal for St. Margaret’s.
Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to thee, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly thine, utterly dedicated unto thee; and then use us, we pray thee, as thou wilt, and always to thy glory and the welfare of thy people; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. Book of Common Prayer, p. 832
~ Kim, Warden
SPIRITUAL LIFE INVENTORY DUE FEB. 13
“But those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed. They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak.”
- Isaiah 40:31
Have you completed your Spiritual Life Inventoryquestionnaire yet? This is the first step for St. Margaret’s as we kick off a new program for spiritual renewal. The program, called RenewalWorks, is avail-able to all churches in our diocese.
Kim sent a link on Jan. 27 to complete the survey online. If you prefer to do it on paper, please pick up a copy at church and put the completed survey in the box on the counter in the Narthex. Kim’s wonderful article (below) contains additional information. All responses are needed by Wednesday, Feb. 17 in order to collate the data and before taking the next steps to benefit our parish’s spiritual life.
Kim, Jane, Barbara A., Anton, Barbara F,, Christie, Barbara H. and Janet S. have all volunteered to facilitate the program.
~ Fr. Isaias
and from our Warden:
RENEWALWORKS is a ministry of Forward Movement
Steps we'll take together toward spiritual renewal:
Step #1: Spiritual Life Inventory
Step #2: Where are we now?
Step #3: Where do we feel called to go?
Step #4: How do we get there?
A key aspect of the RenewalWorks program is the Spiritual Life Inventory (SLI). It is very important that all members of St. Margaret’s complete the Spiritual Life Inventory.
Parishioners by now will have received an e-mail that contains the link to the on-line SLI survey. The survey takes about 20 – 25 minutes and is not hard to complete. If you prefer not to access the survey on-line, hard copies of the survey are available in the Narthex. If you complete the paper survey, please put the completed survey in an envelope and place it in the small plastic bin in the Narthex.
For RenewalWorks to be successful at St. Margaret’s we really need the information that the survey results will provide to our parish. Many other congregations have benefited from the RenewalWorks process including the completion of the Spiritual Life Inventory.
RenewalWorks encourages and challenges parishes to refocus on spiritual growth and identify ways that God is calling them to grow.
The outcome of this program will help St. Margaret’s move in the right direction to help our parishioners grow and deepen their spiritual connection with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, as well as with our community and each other.
Your contribution to the RenewalWorks process is so important. Please submit your completed survey as soon as possible, but no later than Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2019.
I’m excited to be on this journey with our parish and I’m looking forward to seeing where we will be led.
In God’s Love,