By Michael J. ARVIZU
St. George Episcopal Church in La Cañada hosted a ministry fair on Sunday, Sept. 23 in an effort to promote the parish’s established and emerging organizations to the community, as well as to the church family at large.
About 50 to 60 people attended the fair which began at 8 a.m. St. George, located in the heart of La Cañada Flintridge, is home to several dozen ministries serving the needs of the parish in areas such as worship, fellowship, outreach, pastoral care and spiritual formation, among others. Ministries, said St. George Parish Administrator Anthony Keller, represent the community upon which churches exist.
“I think it’s important for people to know that it’s okay to be in community,” said Keller. “Churches are the bedrock; they are the presence of community inside of a larger community.”
In an age of instant communication and social media, Keller feels that people are becoming increasingly disconnected and isolated.
“People don’t think of community anymore,” he said. “So why not get together every now and then and do something together?”
This year, St. George saw the establishment of seven new ministries in worship, spiritual formation, fellowship, and community connection. The goal of some of these new ministries is to connect people more fully to one another and send the message that churches are more than just a place of worship where people go to pray on Sunday. Even during Sunday services, Keller said, the most some people connect is by a simple wave. New ministries such as “E-mail Reflections” and “House of Prayer” will expand on the traditional Sunday service by allowing people to ask deeper questions about their faith and bring people closer together so that they can meet and actually get to know one another.
“The presence of a community of people – just leaving outside the fact that they’re a church – when you get a presence of a community that actually builds a city, churches today have kind of moved away from that,” Keller said.
As far as promoting St. George’s ministries, this is an area where the church can improve, said parish librarian Joyce Davison. Many of the parish ministries are run by volunteers who take it upon themselves to promote their respective ministry. As a whole, Davison feels that St. George could be doing a better job of promoting its ministries to the community.
“That’s something that we as a church should be doing more,” she said. New ministries like “Missio:Engage” will allow St. George to do just that by connecting with the community and promoting outreach.
“We help people, in terms of what they need,” said St. George sexton Mynor Loarca.