Our new Vestry met for the first time last week. Right out of the gate its members identified some of the areas we may focus on in the coming year: children and young families, parish health and vitality, and neighbourhood outreach.
Happily, St. Stephen’s is enjoying a bit of a baby boom these days. This is evident on Sunday mornings where more and more infants are being cared for in our nursery, even more school-aged children are engaged in our Sunday school program The Excellent Adventure, and an older group is poised to enter their pre-teens. Advance planning will ensure we provide a safe and stimulating place for their spiritual growth through the years to come.
Many Vestry members were originally drawn to St. Stephen’s for its liveliness. Sermons were engaging, people were friendly, the congregation was diverse, and there was a sense of life and vitality. Vestry will likely spend some time in the coming months considering how to nurture this life for people of all ages and stages.
But also, Vestry expressed a concern that we continue to be engaged in our neighbourhood, providing not only an attractive and user-friendly gathering place for community groups, but also a community within a community where people may find a spiritual home … just as we have.
All in all, this is a promising start for our new Vestry. It speaks of a congregation actively seeking to find its place as a faith community reaching out in love to the world.