Q. What is the ministry of the laity?
A. The ministry of lay persons is to represent Christ and his
Church; to bear witness to him wherever they may be; and, according to the gifts given them, to carry on Christ’s work of reconciliation in the world; and to take their place in the life, worship, and governance of the Church.
–From the Catechism in the Book of Common Prayer, page 855
Every baptized person is a minister of the Gospel, not just those of us who wear collars around our necks. This job description from the Catechism is profound and challenging. Thankfully we don’t do it alone. When we make our baptismal covenant, our answer is always, “I will, with God’s help.” God does not send us out into the world alone; God goes with us. God also gives us the gift of companions along the way, our sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus. We represent Christ and his Church together; we bear witness to him wherever we may be together; we carry on Christ’s work of reconciliation in the world together. We take our place the life, worship, and governance of the Church together.
A particular occasion for togetherness is our Annual Parish Meeting, this year to be held at 11 AM on Sun., Feb. 8. At this meeting we share together in the work of the Gospel by taking an in depth look at our life and ministry. It is also the time when we elect those who will lead together with us.
Everyone is welcome to attend and participate in the meeting. Voting members are defined in Canon 11, Section 5 of the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese of Virginia: “All adult communicants in good standing, registered in the particular Church in which they offer to vote, shall be entitled to vote at the election of Vestry members.” Canons require that voting be done in person and expressly prohibit proxy voting. Information about Vestry nominees and the meeting agenda will be sent to you very soon.
I look forward to a time of reflection and celebration on Feb. 8!