What does "Ministry" mean at St Susanna?
Renewal in the church since Vatican II has been an evolving experience in our fundamental understanding of church. We have been shifting from a view of the church as institution to a view, which focuses on the church as the People of God. Accompanying the shift in our view of the church is a resulting shift in our understanding of ministry.
Ministry has been defined as “the utilization of one’s unique giftedness to further the Kingdom of God in all areas of life as well as in the Church.” This furthering of the Kingdom of God in today’s world will include a whole range of activities carried out by ordained and non-ordained, paid and volunteer, professional and unschooled people of God who are acting on behalf of the Christian community.
Ministry is, therefore, any action of Christian people, which reveals and furthers God’s presence in the world on behalf of the church and at the service of those in need. Both of these services the Church herself designates as necessary components for quality ministry to the People of God.
But ministry is more than activity; it is an expression of the call and the grace of God’s presence in the sacraments of initiation. It is for the People of God an experience of the God who faithfully accompanies the pilgrim Church on the journey of salvation. In our parish renewal, one of our goals is the development of total parish ministry in which the expectation is that everyone is responsible for the parish’s ministry and almost everyone is participating in some area of ministry.
It is obvious that the need for an expanded view of ministry is an idea whose time has come. True acceptance of the diversity of ministries calls us to be open to the Spirit working among us, to assess the needs and resources of the community, to live with ambiguity in the process of change, and to tolerate our limitations and imperfections as we strive to allow God’s presence in this world to be real and vibrant. (excerpted in part from “Ministry and the People of God,” a statement of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council).
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