Mission, Values, and Visioning
Over the past two years, Ascension's Vestry, aided by a periodic
congregational gatherings, has developed a parish mission statement, articulated the
parish's values, and evolved a visioning process. As
a result, Ascension is a church whose parishioners see themselves as endowed with a clear
mission and values for life, and a visioning to accomplish them.
mission statement, "Disciples of Christ, called to
serve neighbors near and far," really says who we are and identifies
our commitment to each other and to the community around us.
Our core values describe how the parish actively lives out its mission
-- We strive to satisfy the needs of our fellow parishioners and the community through
caring and sharing.
and Prayer -- We meet the needs of God's people through the Episcopal liturgy.
-- We enhance our lives and faith through relationships and interactions with one another.
Education -- We increase and deepen our faith and knowledge through the study of Holy
Scripture, especially Christ and his teachings.
numerous ministries, both internal and external to the parish, are the mechanisms by which
we execute our values. Presently, our internal
parish ministries include, but are not limited to:
of the King -- Prayer and visitation for the sick and shut-ins.
Coffee Hours -- Post-service informal fellowship.
Family Nights -- Compline, informal meal, and educational programs.
-- Casual, small dinner groups; group memberships rotated
Church Women -- Very active.
Club -- Fellowship and competition at the table.
Education -- Both youth and adult on Sundays, as well as Tuesday Family Nights.
has an active Outreach Program to the community, supervised by an Outreach Committee, that
provides both monies and volunteer labor for community needs (which are many). In 2005 we gave a total of $16,150 ($10,000
budgeted, $6,150 unbudgeted) to a wide variety of nonprofit, charitable organizations and
activities. Both money and volunteer labor
were expended at Helping Hands Children's Home (sanctuary for abused and neglected
children) and its supporting thrift store. We
are represented on the boards of both Our Daily Bread (soup kitchen) and Our Daily Rest
(homeless shelter). Throughout our
congregation there are many members serving in such charitable activities as Habitat for
Humanity, Oconee Memorial Hospital, Sertoma, and Seniors Solutions. During the Katrina disaster, our parish gave
unstintingly to support a Louisiana parish aiding New Orleans evacuees.
the recent visioning process for how we get from where we are to the fulfillment of our
mission statement, our congregation identified the three highest priority efforts as (1)
Community outreach, (2) Christian Education, and (3) Attracting new members. This process is very new, and, although two
committees have been established to oversee the process, we are still faced with major
work to discern God's will for how to proceed.