Who are we and why are we here?
Our mission is to express God’s love to all people.
Not too long ago the vestry (elected leadership) put some words around what we consider our strengths:
Children & Youth
We take very seriously our commitment to children and youth. You will see children in all sorts of leadership around our community – visiting residents of the local nursing home, leading worship, serving on the refugee team, participating in clean up days, working to end poverty. We have hired MiaLisa McFarland-Milliares who does a fabulous job coordinating the various Sunday School classes, youth groups and Tweeners outings. We figure that we spend a total of $10,000 per child, from infancy to graduating high school.
True to the Episcopal ideal, we aren’t after uniformity of belief, but rather want to see all sorts of diversity of belief gathered around the altar Sunday after Sunday. We encourage folks to read their scripture, look to what we’ve learned from history, our own experience and our own reason as we come to what we believe. Questions are welcome. Differing views are to be expected. Everyone is welcome.
Healing the World
We put much emphasis into using our gifts to make the world a better place. The Global Outreach group focuses our energy on ending global poverty through education, clean water, prenatal care, and others. The Community Outreach group keeps our attention on local issues such as volunteering in a local school, contributing to the foodshelf, serving meals, gathering books for children, welcoming refugees, and others. We participate in marches and working with elected officials to pass laws that protect the rights of all.
Our liturgies have always balanced between the Book of Common Prayer liturgies and more contemporary texts approved at our General Convention. The fall of 2010 introduced our new ‘progressive’ or ‘9am’ service, in which a team of people reconstructed the text, movement, and music of the existing liturgy to be more reflective of current theology and language. St Mary’s people have grown accustomed to a variety of liturgical expression – the joke is that if what we’re currently doing isn’t your cup of tea, never mind, it will change in a few weeks anyway, like the weather.
Or maybe we should say, we love parties! We get together in all sorts of configurations – big parties like the auction or Lessons and Carols, or smaller ones like the golf group or the Young Adult brunches. We expect new faces to show up every Sunday and at every gathering. Visitors are often commenting on how welcoming and friendly we are.