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Our Next Season of Shared Ministry

Shared Ministry Update – 29 April 2011

 Grace and peace be with you in the Risen Christ!

After a time of mutual discernment by both Faith Communities, St. Peter’s and St. Luke’s…and a time of reflection and review, on behalf of the Wardens and Vestries of each community, I want to update you on the status of our Shared Ministry Relationship.  I have pasted below my reflections to the Wardens and Vestries as we considered taking this next step toward a new season of Shared Ministry.

Grace and peace be with you!

Almost three years ago to the day, we extended an invitation to the Rev. Justin Chapman to come and serve as Curate and Priest in Charge at St. Luke’s and St. Peter’s.  I believe both of our Faith Communities have been blessed by Justin’s ministry during the last three years.  I also believed we have come to understand from our conversations and reflections that some things need to change as we move into another season of shared ministry.

We have used the term shared ministry without attending to the consequences of what it may imply.  We initially began this ministry sharing presbyters and with the hope of sharing diaconal ministry.  As you know, diaconal ministry in the person of Deacon Phyllis…moved from her serving at St. Luke’s to a sabbatical time with the intention of serving in both Faith Communities to her moving to serve at St. Peter’s.  Perhaps we need to consider looking for and encouraging others in our Faith Communities to consider a call to diaconal ministry.

I wrote the following paragraph to Justin in my letter of invitation… As you know, there is great excitement and hope among all of us, as this process begins to unfold.  I look forward to serving with you as a presbyter in these two parishes as well as being nourished by your preaching on a regular basis.  I also look forward to serving as a Priest Mentor as you begin your life as a priest…In fact…this was our intention as we began…to begin exploring SHARED MINISTRY.  I believe this remains our call as we move into another season of shared ministry.  I believe we need to consider seriously the implications that follow from making a commitment to shared ministry…which will cause change and adjustment in both Faith Communities.

To make a fresh start as we begin this new season, I would like to ask that we return to our clergy rotation of the curate being at St. Peter’s two Sundays a month, and at St. Luke’s two Sundays a month.  I will then rotate monthly to serve at St. Peter’s.  This will provide the curate with the opportunity to become part of both Faith Communities at their principal service on Sunday.  We will also accommodate the schedule so that the curate will only be at the early Service at St. Luke’s on the Sundays he is at St. Luke’s.  On the Sundays he is at St. Peter’s, he will not be present at St. Luke’s.

I have also learned and listened to Justin during these years and to that end, from the perspective of his ministry at St. Luke’s, the curate’s ministerial responsibilities in addition to presiding and preaching will be a Ministry to the Gen X and Millennial Populations at St. Luke’s…that is Young Adults and Young Families.  This will require the people of St. Luke’s to find other persons to support the Faith Formation of young children and youth.

I am sure there will be other issues that need to be addressed as we begin this new season of Shared Ministry and I ask for your support and wisdom as we make this transition.

The Wardens and Clergy of both Faith Communities met on Sunday, 17 April, to consider next steps in the Shared Ministry Process.  It was a fruitful meeting which helped us mutually identify the hoped for opportunities we face as well as affirm patterns of ministry we want to continue to encourage.  These opportunities will be shared in greater detail at a later time.

Casey Caldwell, Senior Warden of St. Luke’s and Pat Dibble, Senior Warden of St. Peter’s and I sent a letter inviting the Rev. Colin Maltbie to serve as curate and priest in charge earlier this week. I also spoke with Canon Karen Olson at the Episcopal Center in Minneapolis who assured me of Bishop Brian’s support for this next season of Shared Ministry.

Yesterday I received a reply from Colin accepting the call to serve within your faith communities.  He and Aurora are expecting their second child on 14 June.  They are planning to move to Minnesota after the child is born.  Ordination is set for 30 June at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Minneapolis.  We hope to have some time for transition…with Fr. Justin and Colin together.  That obviously depends on a number of variables.

We will plan for a time to recognize and give thanks for Fr. Justin’s ministry among us as well.  We have been richly blest because of his gifts during the last three years.

Finally, it is important to remember that we are walking on new ground in this process of Shared Ministry…transitions like this have not been part of our common life.  This time calls forth the best in us…for the sake of participating in God’s Mission of restoration, reconciliation and resurrection!

Easter Blessings!

Doug

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. May 17, 2011 at 12:23 am

    First of all many thanks and much appreciation for Fr. Justin. He has been a wonderful presence at both parishes and has brought us many good things. It has been wonderful so witness his growth in the role of parish priest and to be nourished and provoked to think by his excellent sermons. His warmth and generosity of spirit have benefited us all. Thank you, thank you Justin. You will be a great blessing to whomever you choose/chooses you to serve next!

    I am excited at the prospect of beginning anew and incorporating what we have learned thus far in this Shared Ministry. I appreciate the hard work and thoughtful consideration that our clergy, wardens and vestry (and others I imagine) have put into this process.

  2. Jay Bryant
    April 29, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    I am excited as we enter this next phase of Shared Ministry. Father Justin has brought many wonderful things to the church and it has been a joy to watch him grow. I look forward to repeating the process with Colin.

  3. Chuck Larsen
    April 29, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    This is a great opportunity for St. Luke’s to take a giant step in our parish growth. We have been blessed with Fr. Justin’s service both to St. Luke’s and St. Peter’s. With our new Curate/Priest in Charge in Rev. Colin Maltbie, we have the tools in our hands to make significant changes in how things operate at both St. Luke’s and St. Peter’s. I am hopeful that parishioners at both facilities will be patient as we “tweak” how things are done at both locations.
    We can only give great thanks to Fr. Justin for his dedication and great input as we move forward towards another exciting adventure at St. Luke’s. With the vast experience he has gained in his service here at St. Luke’s and St. Peter’s, he is well prepared to move to his next level as he serves both the Episcopal Church and The Lord.

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