'Pay It Forward'
In Pay It Forward, the book for the basis of the movie with the same title, Reuben St. Clair, a teacher, gives a voluntary, extra-credit assignment: THINK OF AN IDEA FOR WORLD CHANGE, AND PUT IT INTO ACTION. Trevor, the 12-year-old hero, thinks of quite an idea. He describes it to his mother and teacher this way: "You see, I do something real good for three people. And then when they ask how they can pay it back, I say they have to Pay It Forward. To three more people. Each. So nine people get helped. Then those people have to do twenty-seven." He turned on the calculator, punched in a few numbers. "Then it sort of spreads out, see. To eighty-one. Then two hundred forty-three. Then seven hundred twenty-nine. Then two thousand, one hundred eighty-seven. See how big it gets?" Christian Stewardship is the paying forward of everything that God has done and continues to do for us.
In order for Assumption to continue to be an open and dynamic place where parishioners are given opportunities to pay it forward, consider this is your personal invitation pray and think of a ministry that will change the world of Assumption. Most ministries at Assumption are the result of individuals seeing an open opportunity to serve and coming forward they contact me and it happens. The ministries of AGAPE, Pray Abba Father, Myrrh-bearers and the Greeters were all the result of individuals coming forward and offering their talents. Although this is always a valid process I do not think it is the best way to develop new ministries.
Another option is the creation of a Ministry Leadership Team that is specifically concerned with assessing ministry opportunities, recruiting parishioners to lead and creating a community culture that gives of its time, talents and treasures. When I look out into the congregation each Sunday, I know that a very dynamic Leadership Team is possible. The Parish Council met one evening at my home and we discussed how the Church could better be served. They do not see themselves strictly as "administrators" but are concerned with creating opportunities for the community to know one another better and to grow in faith.
Beginning in November, after prayer and reflection, I will be contacting some of you to become part of this Ministry Leadership Team. If you do not hear from me and would like to offer your time and talents please contact me!
Margo Kelley has been enlisted by the Parish Council to help in this effort as a Volunteer Coordinator.
November is dedicated as "Stewardship Month" every year at Assumption. It is a time for each parishioner to reflect upon how they are using their Time, Talents and Treasures for serving Christ in His Church. Please take a moment and review the following perspective on Ministry. I also invite you to read the article, "Becoming A Church That Changes The World," and to critically think how Assumption can Pay it Forward more effectively.
A.) A Christian Stewardship is fulfilled in serving Christ.
B.) Serving God is a form of worship.
C.) Serving Christ is hindered by an attachment to earthly things.
D.) Humility empowers one to serve Christ.
E.) Opportunities for serving Christ are found through prayer.
When the word ministry is mentioned, often it is misinterpreted as referring only to the "minister" and his duty of ministering to the church. A theological truth about ministry is that there is no ministry in the Church other than Christ's ministry.
The Holy Spirit realizes the Ministry of Christ as the Ministry of the Church. (John Zizioulas, Prof. Theology).
All ministries in the Church are understood as Christ's ministries. For Christ's ministry to be realized, the priest along with every member of the Church are called upon to share in this work. We all have received through Baptism, Chrismation, and Holy Communion entrance into the Body of the Christ- the Church. We have been set apart to bring Christ into the world. The amount of ministries present in a community reflects the effectiveness of its ministry development.
The ministries performed by us should not be seen as our personal gift to the Church but as the realization of Christ's ministry working through us. The "self" is taken out of the picture in order to make room for Christ to be seen working. Each member of the Church is a servant of Christ's ministry.