Wednesday Word: Serve
The Mission of St. John's is to . . . Worship, Welcome, Serve
The focus this week is the third word in our Mission Statement: Serve
Serve has a myriad of definitions.
In our worship, there are particular people who serve in a liturgical capacity. We have a choir who serve to make the music of the worship service what it is. At both services we have people who serve at the altar as Lay Eucharistic Ministers, helping to administer the elements of Communion. At the 10:15 service we have a group of young people who serve as acolytes, helping to add dignity to the worship. And at both services we have any number of people who serve as Greeters, Ushers, and Lectors. All of these people have chosen to serve within the Sunday liturgy as we worship God.
We also have people who serve our congregation in a number of other ways. People serve on Vestry and various Commissions. People serve by helping out in the office and counting the Sunday offering. People serve as Sunday school teachers of all ages. People serve by helping out at Mayfest and Party on Prospect, as well as being available after Christmas for the Houses of Worship tour.
On top of all that, we serve the wider community by our participation in the Community Cafe, Micah's Backpack, and the Bester Community of Hope. Personally, I serve on the board for the Hagerstown Area Religious Council (HARC). Through our actions of waiting tables, collecting food, distributing needed items, and working at interfaith understanding and collaboration, we help serve the needs of those beyond St. John's.
But regardless of how you look at it, either serving during worship, serving on committees and commissions, or serving the wider community, to serve requires that we move beyond ourselves. Jesus himself said, “I came not to be served, but to serve.” As part of a faith community this is what we also come to do; we are not part of a faith community to be served, but to reach out beyond ourselves and to serve.
Yes, there are times when we need to be cared for, to have our needs met, to be served; times of crisis or ill health come immediately to mind. But in the larger picture of our faith and of our life at St. John's, we come to serve.
With that in mind, how might you best serve God, this parish, and the wider community?