An Invitation to the people of St. George’s
From the Support and Accompaniment Ministry (SAM)
In 2017 and into 2018, the Support and Accompaniment Ministry Group met on several occasions to determine what we were being called to do, not only as a committee, but as a parish at large, to enhance our mission of caring at St. George’s.
It became apparent in our deliberations with our mentor Daranne Harris that we were being called to come up with, not only some initiatives that would enhance caring at St. George’s, but to think more broadly, and create a “Culture of Caring” here at St. George’s. We believe that caring cannot happen before we first get to know one another.
Each one of us has been called to share our gifts with one another, and that starts with a commitment to opening up about ourselves with one another. In order to truly care for one another, we first need to get to know one another.
To more fully appreciate what we are talking about here, I would ask each of you to think back to the most important relationships in your life. Those relationships did not grow by accident. Those relationships grew as you shared experiences, but more importantly, as you shared your passions, your fears and your hopes and dreams for the future. The same is true as we strive to get to know those around us who we meet with each Sunday. It is only through sharing about our passions, our fears and our hopes and dreams that we can learn how to support and accompany each other in our walk(s) with Christ.
During the month of May, we would like to ask you some questions. These questions will help us learn more about our community’s needs and wishes, and the opportunities God is giving us to “support and care” for one another. We would ask that you think about these questions now, before we ask you to respond:
I. First, we need to ask a deeply personal question. Your responses will be entirely confidential, the details known only by Rev. Clara.
What is your greatest struggle in your day-to-day living? How could your St. George’s family support you in addressing this challenge?
Rev. Clara, as the “head” of this caring community, needs to have some sense of what we all are dealing with in our personal lives. For instance: if a person is consumed by financial concerns to the extent that they do not know how they will be able to feed their family next week, that person’s personal challenges are very different from other concerns we may hear about from other parishioners.
By answering this question, Rev. Clara will quickly be able to understand which parishioners’ needs or challenges must take precedence in our desire to care. She will reach out to support you in your needs. She will also look for broad themes among the responses that point to opportunities for group discussions, workshops or programs.
We will ask that you give contact information along with these confidential answers so that Rev. Clara can reach out to support you. Again, no one by Rev. Clara will see your comments.
II. We’d also like to ask some more general questions this month to inform our planning as we look for ways to enhance our ability to “support and accompany” each other:
1. How would you like to get to know one another?
2. What would motivate you to join a group at St. George’s?
3. What skill, gift or life experience do you have that would help to grow the culture of caring at St. George’s
4. Where have you seen God at St. George’s?
“BE PREPARED” – We mean this in a good way!! By answering these questions, you not only give us vital information to make our culture and programs more caring and supportive – you also give us a wonderful opportunity to know you better and more fully.
Please take this opportunity during the month of May to develop some comfort with being asked your opinion. As we move forward, we will continue to ask questions. Don’t worry – we don’t mean to pry – we just really want to get to know you.
In the months ahead, you will start to notice that we will be starting a lot of our social gatherings by asking a little question or two. Just like the song says – “It’s all about getting to know you, getting to know all about you.....”
Thanks for letting us know each of you just a little bit better!
Any questions? Please bring them up during our announcements, and a SAM team member will be happy to answer!