When asked to describe Holy Comforter, people say we are welcoming and caring. They say we are active and generous, prayerful and spirit-filled, hopeful and resilient. People like that we eat together, we work together, and we play together. These are characteristics ingrained in our DNA that people notice when they visit, and cite for their return. But, this part of our identity is just the tip of the iceberg. What do we value that drives who we are? What do we hope to become? Why do we do what we do? The answers to these questions are our values, our vision and our mission. This deeper part of our identity is why we stay at Holy Comforter. It’s what we invest our time and resources into. It’s at the heart of all we do, and it is what will guide us into the future.
Last fall the Vestry hosted gatherings in which members were asked to reflect on Holy Comforter’s identity and future. New and long-time members of all ages joined us, and we received many thoughtful and insightful responses. With this feedback in hand the Vestry and Executive Team gathered for a retreat in November to pour through the pages of notes. Seven common threads emerged as we worked, and those threads lead to seven values and accompanying vision statements that represent Holy Comforter at its core. We have chosen to present them to you in a circle because we believe they all carry equal weight, and they all work together to define who we are, what we do, and where we’re going.
I invite you to take some time to read through our mission, vision and values this week. They are the reason we are welcoming, caring, active, generous, prayerful, hopeful, and so much more. They are what lies beneath the surface.
What is a Mission?
A mission describes why an organization does what it does. Our mission is that of the Episcopal Church, which is given to us in the Book of Common Prayer on page 855. Our values and vision are rooted in this mission, and all we do should move us closer to achieving it.
What is a Vision?
A vision describes what an organization does to accomplish its mission. While we already do each of these to a degree, living into them fully is going to take more time, work, and intention. These vision statements will help us focus our efforts and decide where to allocate our resources.
What are Values?
Core values reflect what is most important to an organization, and they shape the organization’s culture. Our values represent who we are, and they drive what we do. They also guide where we invest our time and resources.
Jamie Rumsey, Senior Warden