One of our post communion prayers says “send us out into the world to do the work You have given us to do.” As a deacon, I am called to the work of taking the good news of Jesus to the world and bringing the world to the church , all the while trying to be a bridge that joins the two. My work in the world involves several ministries including the Episcopal Mental Illness Network, the Arkansas coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, Episcopal Relief and Development, and advocating for the rights of people who have disabilities or have been marginalized in some way by society.
I have learned that the things we do in the world are our ministry as we Serve as Christ’s body in the community. I have been a mentor in the Education for Ministry program since 1997. This four-year course helps equip participants with knowledge and discernment to discover and honor their own gifts for ministry.
I have been a member of St. Michael’s since 1990. I knew the first time I worshipped here that I had found the spiritual home I had longed for. Through serious adversity and times of joy, the St. Michael’s family has loved and held my family up.
As a child of the 1950s and 1960s, when I saw signs that said, “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You,” I saw good intentions not quite fulfilled, but at St. Michael’s we truly do mean “you” are welcome whoever you are and wherever you are on your journey as a child of God.
P.S. No, my parents did not name me “Bean.” I am really Mary Janet with a well-established nickname.