By The Rev. Roy C. Walworth, Evanston, WY
– Outline –
Episcopal Church Women, Spring Conference, Diocese of Wyoming – April 2, 2005
A. Prayer and introductions
B. Statement of activities
1. Bible study in small groups
2. In plenary, talk about our encounters with Christ
3. Talk about where we do ministry
4. Talk about what we mean by ministry
5. Putting is all together and discovering our own ministries
II. Small group exercise
A. Bible Study – John 20:11-18
1. Break into small groups of 3 or 4
2. Distribute copies of the lesson, give instructions
a. Have someone read the passage
b. Briefly discuss the questions
c. Make sure everyone gets a chance to contribute
B. Share stories of encounters with Jesus and the feelings these encounters evoked
A. List encounters in 3 columns on white board without headings
B. Put names – Church, Gray area (church related but not in the institutional church), Ministry in Daily Life – onthe columns after they are formed
C. Discuss differences among the contexts (the three columns) of the encounters
D. Introduce and discuss “classic” arenas or contexts for MDL.
c. Local community
d. Wider world
– personal spirituality
– church life and outreach
IV. What is ministry? – Develop “definition” or description in plenary with participants
A. Ask participants for BRIEF descriptions of what they understand ministry to be, and write them on the white board. If necessary, extrapolate from examples of ministry to broader or more abstract concepts. Treat this as a “brainstorming” exercise.
B. Discuss what develops and see if the group can come to agreement on a more focused statement, involving such things as “helping,” “serving,” or “acting as an agent for change.”
V. Putting it together – Ministry in Daily Life – Discussion of how each can find their ministry in daily life.
A. Explain how just as we often encounter Jesus in ordinary everyday life (Mary and “the gardener”), we are also called to be the one encountered by others who might see Jesus in us, especially in daily life. By seeking to discover and affirm our many MDL’s, we become intentional about our ministries. This gives us the marvelous opportunity to live into our baptismal covenant.
B. Some suggestions as to how to discover your specific MDL’s*
1. Talk and pray with a spiritual mentor or companion
2. Form a group with MDL discernment as its goal or purpose
3. Confer and pray with a priest, rector, or ministry developer
4. Individual reflection and prayer
C. Major goal of MDL – to become intentional about doing God’s work as revealed in Jesus Christ in the world outside the institutional church.
[*Members working alone or in groups can use Part One of Living the Gospel: A Workbook for Individuals and Small Groups to discern each of their daily missions. Make checks for $16.00 payable to Member Mission Press. By A. Wayne Schwab and Elizabeth S. Hall, this user friendly manual takes next steps toward the member mission vision. Part Two guides clergy and lay leaders in implementing the vision in a congregation. – Editor]
[The Rev. Roy C. Walworth; retired priest of the Episcopal Church; Associated with Mental Health Issues.}