The Episcopal Church of the Ascension

Seneca, South Carolina




Mission, Values, and Visioning


Over the past two years, Ascension's Vestry, aided by a periodic congregational gatherings, has developed a parish mission statement, articulated the parish's values, and evolved a visioning process.  As a result, Ascension is a church whose parishioners see themselves as endowed with a clear mission and values for life, and a visioning to accomplish them.


Our mission statement, "Disciples of Christ, called to serve neighbors near and far," really says who we are and identifies our commitment to each other and to the community around us.   Our core values describe how the parish actively lives out its mission statement:

        Compassion -- We strive to satisfy the needs of our fellow parishioners and the community through caring and sharing.

        Worship and Prayer -- We meet the needs of God's people through the Episcopal liturgy.

        Fellowship -- We enhance our lives and faith through relationships and interactions with one another.

        Christian Education -- We increase and deepen our faith and knowledge through the study of Holy Scripture, especially Christ and his teachings.

Our numerous ministries, both internal and external to the parish, are the mechanisms by which we execute our values.  Presently, our internal parish ministries include, but are not limited to:

        Daughters of the King -- Prayer and visitation for the sick and shut-ins.

        Sunday Coffee Hours -- Post-service informal fellowship.

        Tuesday Family Nights -- Compline, informal meal, and educational programs.

        Foyers -- Casual, small dinner groups; group memberships rotated   semiannually.

        Episcopal Church Women -- Very active.

        Bridge Club -- Fellowship and competition at the table.

        Christian Education -- Both youth and adult on Sundays, as well as Tuesday Family Nights.

 Ascension has an active Outreach Program to the community, supervised by an Outreach Committee, that provides both monies and volunteer labor for community needs (which are many).  In 2005 we gave a total of $16,150 ($10,000 budgeted, $6,150 unbudgeted) to a wide variety of nonprofit, charitable organizations and activities.  Both money and volunteer labor were expended at Helping Hands Children's Home (sanctuary for abused and neglected children) and its supporting thrift store.  We are represented on the boards of both Our Daily Bread (soup kitchen) and Our Daily Rest (homeless shelter).  Throughout our congregation there are many members serving in such charitable activities as Habitat for Humanity, Oconee Memorial Hospital, Sertoma, and Seniors Solutions.  During the Katrina disaster, our parish gave unstintingly to support a Louisiana parish aiding New Orleans evacuees.


In the recent visioning process for how we get from where we are to the fulfillment of our mission statement, our congregation identified the three highest priority efforts as (1) Community outreach, (2) Christian Education, and (3) Attracting new members.  This process is very new, and, although two committees have been established to oversee the process, we are still faced with major work to discern God's will for how to proceed.



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