The right place at the right time.

Sometimes ministry is being in the right place at the right time.

The Roanoke Clericus (colleague group for area clergy) met yesterday and walked the neighborhood around St. James' Church. The Williamson Road area is a diverse mix of businesses and residences, including many Hispanic-owned businesses and historic churches.

As the Clericus group was walking and learning about the community, they were stopped by a woman who needed prayer.  The small group of Episcopal clergy quickly gathered and formed a prayer circle on the sidewalk along the busy road. 

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"It was not your ordinary Clericus", said the Ven. Melissa Hays-Smith.

Walking the neighborhood is an easy way for parishes to get to know the area and people around their church building. It helps to illuminate areas of need and any potential partners in God's mission.

Dwight Zscheile writes in The People of the Way, "Rather than trusting in our...power to secure our best ideas about the neighbor's future, we are invited to join up with God's ongoing movement in the neighborhood, trusting that the Spirit is at work in the life of our neighbors, that we meet God there, and that by going with empty hands as learners we will experience God's peace. We must go as Christ came to us - as guests, in a posture of humility and dependence." (pg. 80)

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How can your faith community step out into the neighborhood? In what ways does your parish interact with the community around you? 

The first step to missional engagement is to get to know your neighborhood and the people who live and work there. Often, the Holy Spirit will show you where your church can be involved but you have to be out there to see it. 

Sometimes ministry is being in the right place at the right time.

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