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Listen, Love, Invite, Connect

…And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. Acts 2:47b

Dear Friends in Christ, You, personally, play such an important role in the church! You may not be a vestry member (though if you are called to be one, nomination forms are now available!). You may not be a leader of ministry. But you are so important to the Body of Christ: by your prayers, your faithful participation, and especially by sharing with others the peace and joy of knowing Jesus. How do you do that? Well, one easy way that the parish has provided for you is the opportunity to invite others to events at church. Some of these events, such as Trunk or Treat, are especially intended to be venues for your personal invitation. If only our church people show up, it will not accomplish its mission. So we need your help! Invite friends and especially kids to come enjoy the decorations and the candy. This invitation should not be simply on a banner; please make a personal invitation to others, personally bring them along, and introduce them to people you know. Note that the month ahead has many other such venues: St. Jude’s has their International Festival next Sunday the 8th; we have the Blessing of the Animals that afternoon as well. We have a workshop on the 21st on leaving a legacy for your family by planning for your care late in life, your funeral, your wills and estate. We have a parish luncheon to celebrate God’s provision for us and our good stewardship of those gifts on Sunday the 22nd. And we have all the worship services, Bible Studies, Service opportunities and Pastoral Care opportunities that are there to bless them. The Vestry recently discussed a mindset of “Listen, Love, Invite, Connect.” We start by listening to God: praying, asking God to show us opportunities for us to talk about God with people in our daily lives. We first listen for God’s invitation to us to speak and share. Then we Listen for those opportunities. For instance, we might meet someone in a store who is new to the area. New folks often are looking for community and sometimes for a church, so that is a good opportunity to share your experience of God at St. Peter & St. Paul. But the next step isn’t to jump ahead to the church. The next step is to Love. Love the other person where that person is. Maybe someone shares about the recent death of a loved one. Offer your own compassion, ask more about that loved one, offer your own care that you have to share. Then when you offer that invitation to Grief Share or Stephen Ministry, it is built on your own personal caring, and will be received that way. The Invitation part is key—and easy! Invite them to know you better, or invite them to come to an event at church with you. There are so many ways to connect, and these events are designed in part to make that invitation easy for you. And when they come to the event, intentionally Connect them with other people in the church. Make this whole process personal, share not only about God’s grace, share God’s grace itself by your personal Listening, Loving, Inviting and Connecting. Who will you reach out to this week to Listen, Love, Invite and Connect? Yours in Christ, -Tom

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