A couple of weeks ago we held a workshop with some long-time members of the All Saints’ community. With about a dozen people attending with years of faithful service varying between 27 and 49 years, we asked one simple question:
When you think about All Saints’, what is important to you and valued?
The question was explored from 4 perspectives: Worship, Fellowship, Outreach and Formation. With thanksgiving to God, the conversation was rich and informed why All Saints’ has such a strong foundation as we look to the future and our ability to do more to build God’s kingdom!
Below is a “pictorial summary of our discussion” drafted by Janet Holmes who helped facilitate the workshop. We are thankful for her gifts to capture the culture and values of our faith community.
The overall view from the group raised 5-6 themes that describe All Saints’ as a faith community.
First, we are a welcoming community that enjoys spending time together in worship, fellowship, outreach and formation. While we vary in age, our love of God brings us together to form lasting friendships.
We are a spirit-led community and trust in God to lead us individually and corporately. We believe in prayer and it is common to have a need emerge during times together that is prayerfully raised to our Lord for help. In fact, we finished our workshop that day praying for a new mother who is dealing with a medical issue. That prayer was answered and she is now comfortably at home taking care of her newborn.
Our worship is inclusive and flexible. While we honour the formality of our worship, our family orientation breaks down barriers between traditional and contemporary worship.
We value connection both formally and informally – this is a very important part of who we are as a community. We celebrate our friendships regularly through coffee hours and many different events. And it usually revolves around food!
We serve God in different ways based on the needs “of the day”. Whether it is sponsoring new refugees, PWRDF, St. John’s Kitchen, Food Pantry, or Carizon. The list is long as we outwardly focus on the needs of others to help share God’s grace with them. And for most involved, the experience is as enriching for them as it is for those we help. Thanks be to God!
And we are thirsty for knowledge and find ways to celebrate and learn from the word of God; whether it is Alpha, Bible Studies, or other formation groups (e.g., Wool Gatherers).
As you can see, we have a strong and vibrant community at All Saints’ Waterloo. And a strong foundation on which to build the future. In many ways as we contemplate a new building on which to do more mission and ministry work, the best is yet to come!
Yours in Christ, Pastor Marty, Janet and Mike