It’s those Latin words which have given our Sunday worship its most well known name, “The Mass.” But what do they mean? Actually, they mean “Go, you are dismissed.” Imagine! The Word of God is proclaimed, the real presence of Christ is received in the eucharist and we named the whole thing for the last words, for the act of being sent forth. That should be telling us something, I think. (And not that Christians were looking forward to it being over!) Missa has the same root as the word mission. We’re reminding ourselves that the whole purpose is our being sent out to serve the world around us. So how do we do that? As the community of St Frances, as the community of St Leonard? Of all of the things that we COULD be doing for our members, for the neighborhoods around us, for our city, what SHOULD we be doing?
In essence, that is the mission of our parish councils. To help me and our staff to decide where our communities should put our time, our energy, and our resources. Given its unique resources, how can St Leonard best serve the gospel? Given its unique resources, how can St Frances best serve the gospel? And given our different resources what are the ways that we can serve the gospel better together than each could on its own? Once we have a clear vision of what our priorities are, council helps our various parish organizations to work towards those priorities. We will soon have terms expiring on both councils. Take a moment and consider if you might be hearing the call to add your voice to the future of our parishes.
In a sense it is a mission of being sent to the community so the community can be sent to the world. And the response of the community to those ancient Latin words has always been Deo gratias, thanks be to God!