In January our parish adopted a motion at its’ annual meeting giving me a mandate to strake a Parish Growth Task Force which I called The Markus Committee. Why you ask? For those of you who know the parish of St. Mark’s by-the-Lake, you know just how busy it is getting on just about every Sunday morning. That growth brings many great and wonderful challenges. All of them need to be addressed. I prayed about the membership of that committee and after consultation with the Wardens of St. Mark’s by-the-Lake, approached the members that now comprise that body. So what is "Markus?" The symbol of St. Mark is a lion. We have a lion mascot that I have named Markus and the committee is named after him. Markus is an obvious play on the name Mark – our namesake. The lion symbolizes the resurrection, strength, courage and determination. My Prayer is that these ministers of growth will have the strength, determination and courage to be a people of the resurrection.
Tonight they met for the first time as a whole. We very much wanted to get into a preliminary conversation about what church growth is and what we see it to be. It was a great meeting and a really good start. There was a wealth of good input and ideas that already have many of us thinking about what we might be able to do better.
The Markus Committee is tasked with reporting back to the Vestry (The Annual Meeting in our governance model) in January 2007. There may very well be a desire to address our current space and use of it. But more than all of that we have to address the many issues that come with growing from a pastoral size to a program size parish. On most weeks we have more than 150 people in church. It is pretty refreshing to be at a parish discussing problems around seating, parking, newcomer management, ministry teams, and community building in the midst of larger numbers and on and on. I am lucky to be a part of such a dynamic community.