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Together in Mission from Maintenance to Mission

Priest, Prophet, and King

As already indicated, these categories-priest, prophet, and king-may seem quite alien to most people today. We hear the words, and think, "What has this got to do with me and my spiritual journey?" We may be aware that they have something to do with the person of Jesus, but we don't see them as relevant to us. We know what they mean; we have a mental image of each one. We are certainly familiar with priests; they are part of our faith tradition, an important part. Prophets are people like Isaiah and Jeremiah, extraordinary people who did extraordinary things. We read about them, but that's the extent of it. And we know what kings do; they rule-as figureheads, at least.

We accept that these words describe Jesus and what he does. Yet it is another thing entirely to comprehend that they describe us as well, those of us who are trying to follow Jesus. The fact is that these are almost the first significant words that are spoken to us and about us as Christians. They derive from our baptism. After the water ritual, we were anointed with the oil of chrism and these words were spoken to us: "The God of power and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has freed you from sin and brought to new life through water and the Holy Spirit. he now anoints you with the chrism of salvation, so that, united with his people, you may remain forever a member of Christ who is Priest, Prophet, and King. Amen" (these words are part of& the baptismal rite in its post-Vatican II form).

Bishop Rozanski's presentation of Priest, Prophet, and King
E-Team presentation of Priest, Prophet, and King Part One  Part Two
Question:  How can our interpretation of being Priest, Prophet, and King enhance our ministry?
Question:  How can our Interpretation of being Priest, Prophet, and King hinder our ministry?

The Differentiated Leader

The parish is not only the place where this most powerful resource for evangelization is gathered; it is also a spiritual powerhouse.  It is the expression of the local church. When the Vatican II documents speak about the parish, they use language that helps us realize that the parish is the church of God, made present in a specific geographic location.  Each parish represents the universal church and is a unit of the entire church, because it is united with the local bishop. Each parish has everything it needs to experience itself as church, in its own particular form. Moreover, each parish makes the universal church visible in its locality and contributes toward building up the whole body of Christ in that locality.

Thus, evangelization has the best chance of taking place in the parish, and from the parish, because the parish is the universal church made concrete and local, where the word of God is proclaimed and the sacraments are rightly celebrated.  The Lord is present and active among his people, gifting them for works of ministry (Eph 4). So, not only does the parish have the people power, it has the spirit power, because it is the church in action. The parish has all that it needs to carry out the mission of evangelization. The critical challenge is to nurture and form the community for that mission.

E-Team presentation of The Differentiated Leader
Question:  How can we best nurture and form the community for the mission of evangelization?

At Saint Bland Parish

When we empower people for ministry by helping them use their gifts, certain things are required of us. The parish needs to work to foster the values, habits, and behaviors in the community that support and lead to this kind of empowerment. In turn, the empowerment promotes ownership of a common mission, as well as the necessary communication and commitment to achieve true collaborative ministry. Gratitude, appreciated, encouragement, and increased levels of communication are all examples of the Holy Spirit at work in a community to enable a parish to foster collaboration.

Whether one adopts a collaborative leadership style or not has a significant impact on the resources available to carry out the evangelizing mission of the church. It is a simple matter of numbers: do we want to use the gifts and abilities of all members of the church, or only a few? But more than this, collaboration-real participation-is, according to John Paul II, one of the true "signs of the times," a marker of the worth and dignity of all people. If we can work out this issue in the church, we have a powerful message to offer a world where millions of people are not allowed to participate fully and use their gifts to serve others. Currently, the lack of such collaboration is a source of alienation and sometimes a cause of disaffiliation and pain. Literally, the church grieves the Holy Spirit in failing to work through this issue.

E-Team presentation of Collaboration at St. Bland Parish

Eric Law Notes
Question:  Is real participation a marker, one of the "Signs of the times" that help identify our parish community?

Wrap-Up

Father John Hurley, CSP presentation