September 28, 2018
Q: Who are the ministers of the Church?
A: The ministers of the Church are lay persons, bishops, priests, and deacons.
That is an excerpt from the Catechism in the Book of Common Prayer, and (when the pagination works out) a question and answer often found on the back page of our Sunday bulletins at The Falls Church. The ministers of the Church are lay persons, bishops, priests, and deacons.
It's one of my favorite things about the Book of Common Prayer. What's the first, the primary order of ministry? It's lay persons. Who are the ministers of the Church? The emphasis isn't on the people with the collars, the emphasis is on all of you. The primary vows of Christian Ministry aren't ordination vows, they are baptismal vows. Every time we have a baptism, we say the Baptismal Covenant, which includes the Apostle's Creed, and then a series of questions. Will you continue in the Apostle's teaching and fellowship? Will you proclaim the Good News by word and example? Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons? Will you respect the dignity of every human being? If you believe the words of the Creed, then you answer those questions by saying, "I will, with God's help." The Baptismal Covenant is an if/then statement. This Sunday, after each service, we will have a new and improved version of our annual Ministry Fair in the Lower Narthex and Lightwell. More than 25 ministries of The Falls Church will be represented there with detailed job descriptions for all kinds of ways you can get more involved. Have 2 hours a month to give? 2 hours a week? Interested in social service work in our community? Interested in small fellowship groups to get to know people? Want to get involved musically? Have admin skills to share? All those opportunities and more will be there on Sunday morning to help you "choose your own adventure" in ministry. Our hope is that everyone will find some way to connect and go deeper with their faith. All of these opportunities are there to help you live into those Baptismal Covenant vows of fellowship, learning, service, and respect. The kinds of things that Jesus tells us will lead to transformation in our lives and in the world. After all, who are the primary ministers of the Church? It's all of you. See you Sunday, Kelly