Luke 10:1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go.
After much discussion and prayer our church is transitioning to organizing our common life together within the context of various “parishes.”
What is a “parish”? One definition can be found by looking at the etymology of the word, which comes from the Greek wordparoikia, which means “neighbor”. And for all you Greek scholars out there, you’ll know that paroika is a composite word made up of the word para (meaning “near”) and oikos (meaning “house” (see villa). So a “parish” is a group of neighbors who live near one another.
What that means for us as a church will be this: parishes are mid-sized groups who live near each other and want to grow deeper in their relationship with Christ and do good for their local neighborhood. In other words, they do life together, seeking to follow Christ in faith and mission and experience his presence and power together.
A Menu of Options
What will these parishes do? The possibilities are wide open, but we anticipate that some of the following will happen in each parish:
- Bible studies, on a weekly, or bi-weekly basis
- Service projects that focus on issues and institutions in each local neighborhood
- Regular prayer meetings
- Monthly dinner parties to which everyone in the parish is invited, including friends and neighbors who may not attend Resurrection
- Men’s and women’s prayer groups and social events
Parishes will also now be the main hub of things like getting meals to people in need, as well as serving the church on Sunday by setting things up for our service.
Each of our parishes will be overseen by one of the elders or pastors of the church to providing oversight and pastoral care for these parishes, and, in the words of Ephesians 4, to equip the saints for ministry.
In order for us to thrive together as a community, we need to work together as a community. Jesus sent out his disciples to do ministry, and he sent them out “two by two.” That means that for us to joyfully and faithfully follow Jesus in the mission he has for us, we need each other. We will need hosts for parties, studies, and prayer meetings. We will need study leaders and service coordinator and party throwers. No one person needs to take on too much, but every person has a part to play: what will your part be?