How We Serve: A Vision for the Diocese of Olympia
We envision the Diocese of Olympia as one of the healthiest places in the Episcopal Church, growing and moving through the opportunity and challenge that come with being situated in the “None Zone” of the largely unchurched Pacific Northwest. We are a diocese on solid footing, with open communication and a resolve to live together in Christ and with Christ. We see our differences as blessings and we are committed to sharing those blessings with the world around us.
We believe the core purpose of a diocese is building up the Body of Christ. The Diocese of Olympia works to fulfill that commitment in our congregations by focusing on three areas: congregational development; concentrating on those 35 and under; and stewardship of all our resources.
Congregational development – We believe that developing healthy congregations is central to that call. To that end, we have a clear strategy and ethos of development and health in all our congregations, no matter what the size or context. We assist congregations in facilitating clear expectations and in developing leaders— lay and clergy—who are given the skills and have the understanding to take responsibility for development. We believe that congregational development means far more than numerical growth, but when development is done well, numerical growth is often an outcome.
Concentrating on those 35 and under – We believe that the Church has a particular call to reach out to and attract people under age 35, many of whom are the second and third generations to have no knowledge of Christ and the Church. We believe that if we, the Church, cannot discover how to reach, feed and attract people under 35 that we may well lose the tremendous leadership and spirituality this generation offers the Church. Therefore, our mission field is wherever we find this generation. We must engage with, listen to and commit resources toward all those who are 35 and younger. We equip congregations to relate to younger people and build ministry with them, and we do the same work on a diocesan level.
Stewardship of all our resources – We believe Christianity is a faith of abundance and blessing. Becoming a people truly in touch with this reality makes us stewards of all of our resources—human, financial, material and spiritual. At Creation, God gave us responsibility for the care of the earth. More than ever before, we are aware that what we do affects those in the next generations. Jesus teaches us that when we live for others we have abundant life. We assist congregational leaders in strengthening the stewardship of all resources in their congregations, and we practice this at a diocesan level.