Based on our online survey results and comments in our small group conversations, we consider these to be the top four priorities of our parish at this time. The wording of these priorities comes from the elements of the “Conversations” survey. We have added an explanation of how they specifically apply to St. Stephen’s.
Strong worship services that deepen a sense of connection with others and with God.
Throughout our research in preparing this Profile, the most common expression we have heard is how deep our love and affection is for our traditional liturgy and the Book of Common Prayer. We believe our liturgy is what binds us and we want to maintain and strengthen that wherever possible.
Revitalize our connection with and visibility in the community by building coalitions with like-minded partners.
Raising our visibility, becoming known for our radical welcome and inclusiveness and finding ways to be more involved with others in the community are essential parts of who we are and where we want to go in the future.
Help members discern their gifts to equip them for ministry.
Because almost half of our members have joined St. Stephen’s in the last five years, many of us are still figuring out the best ways for us to participate in parish ministries. Finding ways to facilitate that discernment is an important part of what we must do in the next few years.
Develop ministries for those with special life circumstances.
With so many military families in our community, we need to find ways to help them feel more connected, loved and needed. We also have a large retired community where loneliness and isolation often occur. And we have a large population of people, especially women with children, who are struggling in our local economy and often can’t find help or a compassionate place that hears them.