As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are commanded to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to obey everything He commanded. We take The Great Commission to heart, joining in both global and local missions and learning how to live our lives as missionary disciples in everything we do.
At Saint Patrick's, our vision is to raise up and send out disciples who are truly living out The Great Commission, both at home and abroad. In the last five years, we have had two households from our parish who have followed God's call to live as missionaries overseas. One of these families is serving through Interserve USA, a mission agency focused on reaching out to Muslims who otherwise would never meet a follower of Jesus Christ. The other is serving as a school teacher in the same country. As a parish, we support and partner with our members who are serving as missionaries and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We are active supporters of the New Anglican Missionary Society (NAMS), which fosters disciple-making and plants new communities of faith across the world. We support this effort with our prayers, financial gifts, and by sending our pastor to teach at NAMS conferences overseas. In 2018, Saint Patrick's helped fund a training retreat for church planters in Cuba, including the new NAMS Church of Cienfuego. And in 2019, Fr. Peter joined the teaching team of NAMS at the Mission Week of training at Mbeere Diocese, Kenya, where he taught about leading a community of disciples that makes disciples.
Training pastors is a key way we equip disciples to make disciples. Since 2008, Saint Patrick's has had the privilege of ministering among fellow Anglicans in Kibungo Diocese in Rwanda. Our parish has sent teams to minister in Kibungo five times. We have also welcomed leaders from Kibungo diocese to our parish for fellowship and ministry. Our ministry in Kibungo has centered on training pastors, serving with our sister parish (Musamvu parish) and the Center for Women's Ministry, a PEER counseling ministry that aids women in addressing trauma from the Rwandan genocide, domestic violence, AIDS and other issues.
Saint Patrick's provides a variety of opportunities to share the love of Christ with those who are poor and homeless through the ministry of Lexington Rescue Mission, including serving the Christmas Dinner, participating in the Walk for Warmth, teaching classes in local jails, mentoring residents, and helping out at the mission's Outreach Center.
Each year, Saint Patrick's conducts a back-to-school clothing drive for students and families at William Wells Brown Elementary School. There are also opportunities to read with students before the school day, assist in classrooms, teach classes to parents, and provide dinner for families who are participating in evening programming.
Lexington Leadership Foundation provides opportunities to make a difference in the lives of children, youth, and families in need. Saint Patrick's members have taught parenting classes to fathers, mentor children of incarcerated parents, and serve on the board of this ministry to the vulnerable in our community.
Saint Patrick's invites parishioners to host international students in their homes as a way to practice hospitality and share the love of Christ. Since 2017, USA Homestays has placed students from Oman, Saudi Arabia, China, Egypt, Kuwait and other countries in homes with Lexington families for three or more months.
Christian Student Fellowship is a ministry to college students at the University of Kentucky, sharing the Gospel and helping them grow in their faith as disciples. Saint Patrick's is home to current and former CSF staff, and our pastor serves on the board. CSF provides a number of opportunities for students and recent grads to serve on campus.
City for the Nations is connecting believers in Lexington with unreached people from around the world. Join our church and others in our city in praying for those in Nepal who do not yet know Jesus and welcoming international students and refugees from the Middle East to our city in the name of Jesus Christ.
At Saint Patrick's, we equip disciples to go out into the world and carry out their vocations or callings in all areas of life. This means learning how to live as holistic missionary disciples who love and glorify God in all aspects of our lives, including our workplace, relationships with our friends and family, our neighborhood, leisure activities, volunteer ministries, and more.
We teach practical ways to keep God's mission at the forefront of our lives: praying daily for five people in our lives who do not yet know Jesus Christ, blessing our neighbors by praying for them as we go about our day, using the Joshua Project app to lift up an unreached people group in prayer each day, and more.
We equip parents with resources to disciple their children, we teach how to share the Gospel with friends and neighbors, and we pray together for loved ones who are hurting and need the hope of Jesus Christ.
We also provide weekend trainings to delve into marketplace ministry and how to live out our faith in our workplace. We help participants discern their gifts, create a vocational plan, and implement their plan to bring God glory through their work.
Each of us are called to be salt and light in our particular corner of the world, and Saint Patrick's is a place where we can be formed by God and given the tools we need to fulfill our calling.
God has gifted each of us with an Oikos - or household - that includes our family, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances. At Saint Patrick's, evangelism starts here. Our Oikos list includes the people in our life who do not yet know Jesus Christ. We commit to praying over our list daily and sharing our faith as God opens the door for spiritual conversations.
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Join us on Sunday, April 25 to welcome our new disocesan Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Mark Engel, and his wife, The Rev. Terri Engel, to Saint Patrick's for their first parish visit.