From the 2021 Ministry Narrative
Though a loaded term for many, “evangelism” encompasses all that goes into presenting the Gospel to the world. This makes it a difficult ministry area to articulate, because each one of the five ministry areas outlined in this document supports this goal; and part of our evangelism includes informing others about the way we do things at All Saints.
One silver lining to the pandemic has been the degree to which mainline churches have been forced to experiment with social media, video conferencing, and livestreaming platforms. We started off the pandemic with a simple camera and painfully slow Internet. But our tech coordinator, Shawn Sloan, has refined our broadcast each week and kept us apace with the latest technology. We’ve already upgraded and multiplied our cameras, and are able to simultaneously stream our 9am service on YouTube and Facebook.
Our livestreams are not flashy, but they're clear and consistent opportunities for viewers to join in Common Prayer. And while the number of our online attendees has declined as folks are coming back to in-person worship, we are joined each Sunday by parishioners in Michigan, California, Mississippi, Florida, Utah, Texas, Virginia, and Tennessee, as well as numerous “church shoppers” and shut-ins from around the Flathead.
We’ve also supplemented the monthly E-Letter with a weekly newsletter containing events and links to services and formation opportunities. Our website may not be the most expensive that money can buy, but we maintain an excellent “virtual billboard” that is meticulously updated and provides service times at a glance. Finally, All Saints has refocused attention on our Facebook page by adding regular content that focuses on the life of the parish (please like our Facebook page!). Since October 2019, we have more than doubled our number of followers, from 157 to 366, thereby extending the reach of our broadcasts, posts, and advertisements.
The Diocesan Assessment is 19% of our operational budget (excluding designated and restricted offerings) and also supports foreign and domestic evangelism efforts. Most of this assessment goes to help finance and support the ministries and mission work of the Diocese of Montana. From that money, the Diocese contributes to humanitarian and evangelization efforts throughout Province VI, the Episcopal Church, and the worldwide Anglican Communion. We are not an island, but part of a communion of 85 million Anglicans with a near universal geographic distribution. A stunning amount of human service takes place in this diocese and around the world because of assessments like ours. And the same thing can be said about the ministry of our parish. Were it not for our staff and parishioners, most of what we see in outreach, worship, and pastoral care could not take place.
We can do so much more in this area of telling God’s story. But when we engage in service, worship, education, pastoral care, and the life of the church, we cannot help but show forth God’s praise, “not only with our lips, but in our lives.”