Saint Peter’s in the Woods is one part of a very large, multi-faceted church, The Episcopal Church in the United States (TEC) that is also an intrinsic part of the Anglican Communion around the world. As part of TEC we share “Five Marks of Mission,” developed by The Anglican Consultative Council between 1984 and 1990. This understanding of mission, rooted in the Baptismal Covenant, concerns how we live out our faith in the world. As the TEC website states, you can view the TEC website here, these marks “have won wide acceptance among Anglicans, and have given parishes and dioceses around the world a practical and memorable “checklist” for mission activities.”
The Five Marks are:
- To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
- To teach, baptize and nurture new believers
- To respond to human need by loving service
- To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
- To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth
In what ways are we living out these marks of mission within the parish of St. Peter’s in the Woods? Or to put it another way, to what extent does our life as a parish church realize these marks? It is tempting to see this list as a task or a goal, but SPW is just one part of the greater church so our part in living out this ‘practical and memorable checklist,’ is to be faithful to God’s specific call for our church. During the formative years of St. Peter’s in the Woods there was a heart-felt desire to share the good news of Jesus Christ by building up a worshipping community in Fairfax Station, the western portion of Burke, parts of Centreville, and south towards Lorton. Today SPW is comprised of people who drive from these areas as well as surrounding areas to take part in the life of our church. There was also a desire to serve Christ through the support of mission and outreach. We have begun to post a section in our weekly enews called, “Did You Know” in which we highlight different aspects of our faith community. Over the next few weeks we will be posting some of the highlights from our mission and outreach ministry during 2014, as we prepare for the first Serving with the Saints to be held in the summer, and as our mission team prepares for the parish mission trip in August.
Currently we are also preparing for a very active year in 2014-2015. Each program, each service, each aspect of the faith and community we share at SPW an integral part of the wider mission and ministry of The Episcopal Church.