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. MiaLisa McFarland-Millares does a fabulous job (as our 1/2 time paid Children’s and Youth Minister) coordinating the various Sunday School classes, youth groups, Tweeners outings and Beginners group (for households with small children). 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. Our most recent work includes befriending Somali immigrants, particularly the Omar family, and welcoming a couple refugees families per year (currently we are befriending a family who recently arrived from Afghanistan). We have been involved in standing behind our Ojibwe friends who are fighting the Line 3 pipeline in Northern Minnesota. We cook and eat with our friends at First Nations Kitchen, and march alongside those demanding immigration reform. We tutor at our struggling neighborhood elementary school. We partner with organizations like Isaiah, Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light, and Interfaith Action of St. Paul. This fall we will be working extra hard in a (non-partisan) effort at voter turnout. Globally we have been working with KIVA for years, investing money in small entrepreneurial co-cops, and have a long standing partnership with a school in Haiti. And that’s just what we try to do as a group – individual members work hard in their various professions, protecting the environment and working for racial justice and gender equity, fair wages and serving our country.
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 Thursday night dinners or the “Pod” gatherings. We expect new faces to show up every Sunday and at every gathering. Visitors are often commenting on how welcoming and friendly we are.
All of this fun and service is how we try to patter our life after Jesus and express God’s love to all people. Come walk with us1