Each Member a Missionary — Vestry Retreat By The Rev. A. Wayne Schwab

St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buffalo New York; 2/7-8/03
Theme: Each Member a Missionary

Friday Evening:

Overview of the Retreat

  • Sharing
  • What led you to become active in the church now?
  • What led you to become to be a member of the Vestry?

Saturday Morning:

Practice in discerning some of our present missions – distinguish between “body missions” and “member missions” – sample worksheet reviewed:

1. Individual reflection – each pair or trio assigned a specific mission field

  • A mission is specific
  • A mission includes both direct and implied tasks to achieve it
  • A mission is discerned as what God is calling one to do, to be, or to change

2. Work individually to complete worksheets provided – at least 7 minutes

3. Sharing in pairs or trios; then, in plenary, one from each mission field – leader presses for specifics, for seeking a teammate, and for actual words that might be used

Re-practice as time allows

What are some of our observations or learnings?

Saturday Afternoon:

Consider:  a vision that draws you on – every member on mission wherever they are all the time; and a structure – a mission statement calling for supporting the members in their daily living as Christians; and an action – the members discerning their daily missions in their mission fields

  •  Implications for reorganizing the congregational life of the Cathedral*
  •  Eucharist
  • *Areas for possible consideration
  • A look at the mission of St. Paul’s
  • Integrating any modifications into the life of the congregation
  • Forming members as missionaries
  • A spirituality of being co-workers with God
  • Helping members to name their present missions
  • Change and feedback – for individuals – for organizations / systems
  • Small groups
  • Worship and preaching
  • Training leaders
  • Other implications

[The Rev. A. Wayne Schwab; Coordinator of Member Mission Network, Inc., President of Member Mission Press, Chair of the Spiritual Formation Committee for the United Church of Hinesburg, VT, Author, and Speaker.]