A Bit About Total/Shared Ministry

Christ Church does not have paid clergy. Our ministry is led by members of the congregation who discerned a call to ministry and who answered that call with a commitment to serving our congregation.

December 2019 marks the 10-year anniversary of the commissioning and ordination of the members of our Total Ministry team by Bishop James Jelinek. What a wonderful blessing Total Ministry has been for our congregation. Thirteen years ago, in the fall of 2006, after much individual discernment and prayer, fourteen church members began the three-year process of training and formation with Father Ken Toven as our mentor. In December 2009, eleven members completed this process and we had our ‘Total Ministry’ team, responsible for liturgy and the spiritual care of our congregation. Through the ensuing years, our numbers have diminished, through attrition and death, to our current team of four clergy, and Kim Heise, who joined the team when she was pursing education and formation for the Diaconate. Kim was unable to complete her training, but continues to be a valued member of the team as a Licensed Lay Preacher.

All members of the Total Ministry team are volunteers and are meant to contribute no more than ten hours a week to their ministries.

The formation of the Total Ministry team was not meant to be exclusive. It is our goal to encourage all members to consider their own unique call to ministry. We truly have a shared ministry at Christ Church with many members contributing to the life and mission of the church. Everyone is invited to share their gifts at Christ Church.

By virtue of our Baptism, we believe that all have God-given spiritual and life gifts to share for the good of the Church. At our monthly team meeting, we start our time together with a prayer to set the tone, to remind ourselves why we do this ministry, and to ask God’s blessing on our endeavors and discussion.

We acknowledge that Total Ministry is collaborative in nature and one of our duties is to help develop and equip members to grow in their gifts to carry out God’s work.

There are many areas where members can use their gifts for ministry.

  • Do you like to pray? You could be an Intercessor, praying can be done anywhere, at anytime.
  • Do you like to visit with people, do you have a special affinity for caring for folks who might be struggling with illness, or hardship? You might be called to Pastoral Care. This ministry can be done alone or in pairs.
  • If you think you’d like to be able to bring Communion to homebound or hospitalized members, you can be trained to be a Lay Eucharistic Visitor.
  • Are you a teacher? Are you comfortable in front of a small group? Are you interested in Bible Study or Book Studies? Perhaps you’d like to be a leader of an adult group study. Or perhaps you might feel a gift to be a Sunday School/Wednesday School teacher and work with kids.
  • Do you love the beauty of the sanctuary? Do you love the stillness and quiet in the off hours when the church is not being used for services? Have you experienced God’s presence at these times? Perhaps you might like to become a member of the Altar Guild? This group of dedicated women attend to the preparations necessary for our weekly worship services and making our space lovely.
  • Do you like fun? Do you have an affinity for Fellowship and gathering folks for activities? Do you like working on the details for events? Perhaps you might have a call to Parish Life ministry.
  • Have you ever wondered about preaching? Do you like reading, researching, and writing? Do you have a love for learning from God’s Holy Word? Preaching is a very important ministry and the Episcopal Church in MN (ECMN) has a pathway to become a Licensed Lay Preacher. Preaching is a spiritual gift, guided by the Holy Spirit.
  • Perhaps you have a level of comfort to be part of the Management of the church. The Vestry is the elected group who oversee the finances and building and grounds of the church.
  • The Diaconate is an ordained order of ministry. The Deacon’s job is to bring the world’s needs to the attention of the church and to bring the Church into the world. Being a deacon is a ministry of helping and serving. The Deacon leads the Prayers of the People, reads the Gospel, and assists the Priest during the Eucharist. You often see people who are in the helping professions experiencing a call to the Diaconate.
  • Do you love worship? Do you love the liturgy of our worship? In Total/Shared Ministry, the Priest is the Sacramentalist and is ordained. The priest leads the worship services and presides at the Eucharist, weddings, and funerals; deacons are also able to lead the service for Holy Matrimony and the Burial Office. ECMN and the School for Formation has a pathway to becoming a Deacon or a Priest. These ministries entail discernment.
  • Do you like to send cards? This can brighten the lives of our beloved friends at Christ Church who may be absent from our fellowship. This could be a Sunshine Ministry.

There are a number of other ways that members participate and share their gifts for the life of the church, such as: Providing beautiful music or helping to run the clavinova during the worship service, scheduling of members for necessary Sunday duties, reading Scripture during worship services, providing weekly Coffee hour, taking care of the grounds, summer and winter. Everything we all do contributes to the ‘Shared Ministry’ of our congregation.

This synopsis of Total/Shared Ministry (not necessarily exhaustive) outlines various ministries to which one can be called or led by the Spirit. We, the team, welcome any inquiries from the congregation with regards to ways to use your God-given gifts for ministry. At Christ Church, we have an official ‘team’, now small in numbers. But it is our sincere desire to include all who might be wondering about a sense of call or desire to learn more about any specific ministry. In this sense, what we have at Christ Church is indeed a Shared Ministry. Please feel free to approach any member of the Team with questions.