Faithful living at Old Donation Episcopal Church

How our “commission system” can help.

Even with all that goes on at Old Donation these days, sometimes folks have a hard time figuring out how they can be more involved. It is one of the ironies of a growing, active church that too much activity, and more people, can sometimes create a blur that is harder to enter than a small group with fewer opportunities. With less happening, it is sometimes more clear and obvious about the specific one or two things that need to be done.

The New Testament Epistles actually gave us some help. The “body of Christ” is made up of many connected parts, and they are NOT all alike. “Some are teachers, others evangelists…” and some are cooks, others arrange flowers. Some are up front in worship, others in the back organizing the food for children at the Mission of the Holy Spirit. But if we all are individuals with different skills and callings, how do we get organized when the ‘body’ gets this size?

ODEC adopted a “commission system” to organize for mission and ministry a couple decades ago.  Unlike a sleepy, quiet “family-sized” parish, the rector and vestry cannot, and should not, manage everything. Instead, we have ‘ministry teams’ of members (which we call ‘commissions’) who do the organization and planning for various aspects of ministry. Each commission has a chair and each has a vestry person assigned as a liaison for budget and communication. Most commissions meet monthly for planning and coordination, on the first Wednesday night of each month. They are the ministry teams who organize parish events, historical remembrances, mission trips, feeding the homeless, or even worship services. There are ten commissions in which to be involved. You can find them listed in our monthly “Bell Ringer”: each vestry member has an assignment for a commission.

Anytime you hear or see something going on that you might find interesting, please know we want you to get involved. Some parishes have a culture that says, “wait until you’ve been around a while, (or someone has died) before you can participate.” ODEC is the opposite. You will make this your home, make new friends, and find God’s calling in your life by jumping into something. And when it is time to switch to something new, do so.

This year we will have monthly newsletter articles for Stewardship to help you get a look at some of what goes on.  Each commission will describe some of their ministry efforts.  If you see something you find interesting, join in. If there is something you think is missing, speak up and it is likely that there are others who would like to start it with you.

In this year with lots of new developments, we hope you will find ways to “Grow In Faith Together” and in doing so, you will grow more deeply and faithfully into who God has created you to be.  As that happens, we will all be growing closer and stronger and together; and God’s kingdom will be blessed.

Peace and blessings,
Bill Waide, Senior Warden
The Rev. Bob Randall, Rector