Notes from the 2013 Diocesan Convention
Posted February 26, 2013
by Frances Guice
An excellent review of all convention speeches and business is available on the Diocesan website. Here, I would like to share with you the ideas/convictions that I bring back to Christ Church Valdosta from the convention.
1. MISSION! Christ Church Valdosta needs to become more involved in our community through mission supported by the labor of all our members. Writing checks and individual ministries are important, but we need to pull together as a church, find a need, roll up our sleeves and go out into the community as Christ did when he walked the earth.
2. I received wise advice from the Rev. Lonnie Lacy. Before he became the rector at St. Anne’s, the Rev. Hurst had been there for a very long time. The search committee spent THREE YEARS looking for a rector. Those three years were not easy, and they even lost parishioners; however, when they called Rev. Lacy, the church was ready. They have seen phenomenal growth not only in membership, but in mission work in their community. Maybe we don’t need three years for our search process, but patience can bring huge blessings.
3. The Legacy Society is working to encourage all of us to remember our parishes and our diocese in many ways. One way is through our wills. When Merrill and I married, we made out our wills leaving a portion of our assets to the church and the rest to be divided by our children. We are a middle class family, so the church won’t be receiving a huge amount. However, think of the possibilities if all of us remember our church in our wills! Each of our legacies added together can make a tremendous difference in the future work of the church. Please go to the Diocesan website and join the Legacy Society. They can guide you and answer questions.
4. Our diocese is in good hands. The Diocesan Office is running in the black. Their goal is to serve the diocese, not for us to serve them. Praise God, Honey Creek is thriving!!! Our diocesan youth programs are strong. A new camp may be added due to the increase in campers. Cursillos in Christianity has been strengthened and will begin again.
5. At a time when there is much turmoil in the church over many difficult issues, I witnessed a convention room filled with laity and clergy who prayed together, laughed together, and even respectfully disagreed on few issues. The Holy Spirit was in that room.
6. The world has changed dramatically, and so must our churches change. As the Bishop asked of us, we need to look at what we truly need in our “backpacks” to be disciples of Christ. Our backpacks won’t hold much and don’t need much. A lot must be left behind and that is hard for me and for most people. But, if we want to carry out our Baptismal Covenant, we must shake off some of that which we hold dear in order to make our churches more hospitable to new Christians and in order to be better disciples in the community and in the world.