A Seasonal Look at St. Paul’s Mission Statement
The season is changing. Shorter days and changing weather patterns signal the transition from summer into fall.
It has been some time now since seeds were planted in the rich soils of Talbot County. With the fa-vorable weather and adequate rains of this summer, can we expect that there will be a bountiful har-vest? It will not be long before we know the answer to that question. Harvest time is right around the corner. Soon the combines will be moving across the fields, gathering in the corn and beans. Soon we will be bringing in the last garden produce before the first frost.
Harvest time made me think of St. Paul’s mission statement which reminds us that we are, “Called to harvest in bountiful faith.” Those words describe the ministry and work of this congregation. Isn’t the over-riding goal of farming to bring in a harvest? Tilling, planting, cultivating, fertilizing are all activities in preparation for the main activity which is harvesting.
And harvesting is the main activity of an Evangelical Christian congregation as well. Our job is to do all of the preparation work and everything else that is necessary to ensure that God’s harvest will be plentiful.
St. Paul’s tills, plants, cultivates and nourishes people in many ways. We have a strong relationship with our community (tilling the mission field). We plant seeds of faith (education, evangelism and witness to Jesus’ love for the world). We cultivate (create a safe and secure church family, condu-cive to God’s people growing in their faith). We nourish our membership (teaching the Word and providing the meal of Holy Communion). All of this activity leads up to the harvest as the Holy Spirit gathers us into a community of saints which begins here in this world and lasts forever in God’s heaven.
As a congregation, our members have many occupations: student, manager, teacher, business owner, farmer, accountant, musician, retiree, health care worker, soldier, administrator, mechanic, social worker, pastor, police officer, on and on. But all of us have one baptismal vocation – to be farmers in the mission field.
Where is St. Paul’s mission field? Where you live, where you work, where you worship are all part of our mission field. (It is a very large mission field). That is where you till, plant, cultivate, nourish and harvest. You are, “Called to harvest in bountiful faith.”
Trust in God, Pastor Thom