Mission Specialist. It certainly sounds important doesn’t it? But the reality is it is a brand new position here at National Capital Presbytery, and with any new position, it will take time to fully define. But I couldn’t be more excited about stepping into this new role, and getting a chance to help define what it will be for years to come, in the process helping facilitate stronger mission across the presbytery.
My passion for Mission started back in 1994 when my youth group travelled to Homestead, FL to repair homes damaged by Hurricane Andrew. In the years that followed I became a regular Habitat for Humanity volunteer in my hometown of Rochester, NY, took more Mission Trips to Maine, far Northern New York State, and New York City. Following College I picked up where I left off, finding a job in New York City at an environmental Education non-profit and also a part-time job with the same organization my church had worked with a few years before, Youth Service Opportunities Project. I have since gone on to work with the St Bernard Project in Chalmette, LA rewiring homes damaged by Katrina and running a tool lending library in New Orleans, helping get tools into the hands of homeowners, out of town volunteers and local non-profits focused on rebuilding and revitalization projects.
I strongly believe in a faith grounded in service. Let it be known that I love to discuss theology as much as the next Presbyterian, but it has been in service to others that I have most often found myself in profound witness to the subtle and miraculous power of the Holy Spirit. I envision the Mission Specialist as a resource to Churches seeking the same kind of witness.
To become that resource, I am going to be working on learning what is already happening in this presbytery and region. From there I hope to help facilitate connections between churches regarding their passions. I also hope to be able to offer feedback and advice on projects as they are being formulated and implemented.
As Presbyterians, we are called into community at the Presbytery level. Together lets help strengthen our connectional nature, reminded that Christ sent out the seventy in pairs so they would not have to be alone. No church in this presbytery is alone. Concurrently serving as the pastor of a small church, a church that sometimes struggles to live out its dreams of Mission based on either limited finances or limited hands, helps me appreciate how meaningful teamwork among churches can be, how it can help us all more effectively share and show God’s immense and wondrous love.
If the possibilities this position offers to the presbytery or to your church excite you, please give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to all the conversations ahead of me in the month and hopefully years to come.
Rev Michael McNamara