A theology of ministry

Authentic Christian ministry arises out of our shared life in the mystery of God's story with us as the human family.

God's story with us centers in an event of reconciliation: the triune God has come to us in Christ Jesus. As the incarnate word of God, Jesus proclaimed the inbreaking reign of God and expressed it in compassion and justice. Jesus' solidarity with people's suffering culminated in the cross, where God in Christ absorbed our brokenness and forgave our sin. In the resurrection God conquered the power of sin and death and anticipated the healing of the cosmos at the consummation of time.

In pouring out the Holy Spirit on the community of Jesus' followers, God calls the church to continue Christ's sacramental presence in the world. We do that through worshiping God in adoration and praise, proclaiming the gospel in word and deed, reaching out to the needy and suffering, and living the compassion and justice of God's reign. That is the ministry of the whole people of God.

The leadership role of a priest is to catalyze people's engagement with all those dimensions of God's call to the church. This means drawing people into an encounter with God in prayer, liturgy and sacrament. It means preaching the gospel in ways that inspire, educate and equip people for their ministries in office and factory, field and classroom, bedside and kitchen. It means caring for people in their joys and griefs, failures and triumphs, right through the life cycle. It means catalyzing processes in the community – whether parish, diocese or seminary – whereby people share their lives with one another and take counsel together for how to engage God's mission in the world.

So that? So that all people may be reconciled with God and each other in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.