We believe that God has created us to be good stewards of the resources entrusted to us and has called us to be witnesses of God’s saving love for the world, particularly as this love is revealed in Jesus Christ. This has implications for the way we expend resources and try to show God’s love in the context of our own congregation, in our relationship to the church at large, and in service to the community in which we live. At particular points in our history we have to discern what God is specifically calling Advent-St. Nicholas to do, and thus what our priorities are, in each of these dimensions of mission.
We have identified several specific areas of mission in which our congregation, or various members of our congregation, have been actively involved in recent years. With regard to our own congregation we are intentional about (1) our worship and the activities that contribute to our Christian formation [Our Educational Activities] and fellowship [Our Fellowship], and (2) our participation with our sister congregations in Iglesia Evangélica Luterana del Ecuador [Our Participation in IELE].
With regard to our relationship with the church at large (1) we serve as intermediaries between churches outside Ecuador and organizations within Ecuador that need their support, [Illinois South Conference, UCC, Ecuador Project] and (2) we belong to the Latin American Council of Churches/Consejo Latinoaméricano de Iglesias (CLAI) [CLAI website].
With regard to our community service we have been active in the areas of (1) education, (2) human dignity and human rights, and (3) family welfare [Our Community Service].
In 2011 our Committee on Mission and Stewardship led us through a discernment process to focus more clearly our goals with regard to mission and stewardship.
Mission and stewardship priorities were set through discussion in several small group meetings
Their report in June of that year led us to focus on deepening our commitment and inolvement with two programs that we have previously supported: The Kiwanis Club Chuquiraguas' scholarship program that helps underprivileged young women finish high school, and the Centro Integral de la Familia, which provides low-cost relational systems therapy to those in need. In the First Phase of our Mission Opportunities Appeal, April-June 2012, we have considerably increased our financial support for these two organizations, and our members have also volunteered to offer English classes for the Chuquiraguas' scholarship recipients.
In 2012 we repeated the small group discernment process to determine our mission with respect to the environmental crisis. The report in June of this year identified two primary areas in which we can take action: (1) making our church a "green church," that operates in an environmentally sound and energy-efficient way; and (2) becoming a center of consciousness-raising and information-sharing for our members, our sister congregations, and our surrounding community. An action team will be organized in the fall of 2012 to help us move toward these goals. To see the full text of the report click here.