We are not building a Mission Abbey so that we can become something we have not already been, but so we can grow into more of what God has already created us to be. To say we hope to build a Mission Abbey is to say that our intention is to develop our property as an outgrowth of the mission we currently live out: “to share in the life of God for the life of the world.”
Abbey speaks to a community devoted to the contemplative tradition, spiritual formation, immersion in Scripture, and rhythms of rest, worship, and prayer—thus, “sharing in the life of God.” Mission speaks to a community devoted to action, equipping one another for ministry, and working together to make an impact on the world around us— thus, “for the life of the world.”
During our Season of Discernment in the Spring of this year, we were invited to listen to how the Spirit might impress upon us various ideas, visions, and dreams for how we can continue to nurture our common life together toward a Mission Abbey. The response was huge as these imaginations were collected in booklet form and shared with our parish family. From these dreams, we extracted certain key ministry areas that are now the focus of our Fall Pastorate season.
These Mission Abbey Pastorates (small groups) are designed to continue this discernment process, watering the seeds of our Mission Abbey vision as people study, strategize, and look for ways to stir up those dreams and imaginations that resonate with our parish. Keep in mind that these Pastorates are not exhaustive of our current ministries or our future vision, but rather they represent areas that currently could use more energy and planning. Each Pastorate will generally share the same five-week outline designed to lay the ground work for things to grow in the months and years to come.
If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for a Pastorate that not only excites you, but also one that explores an area you see yourself participating in beyond the five-week Pastorate, though you are not locked in to a long-term commitment by signing up for one. Our Mission Abbey Pastorates will begin mid -September, and most of them will meet every other week for five weeks.