Home Parish Vision
“If you want a good litmus test of your spiritual growth, simply examine the nature and quality of your relationships with others.”
― M. Robert Mulholland Jr., Invitation to a Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation
What role do Home Parishes play in formation?
Home Parishes exist as small communities that welcome, shape, and send.
Home Parish relationships are an essential part of the larger congregation and offer the encouragement, support, and accountability that sustain us on our formation journey and help us live our shared rule of life. It is here that we learn to love one another as Christ has loved us (Jn 13:34) and to bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ (Gal 6:2).
Communities that Welcome
Home Parishes are an expression of God's hospitality and care in that they help us move beyond the boundaries of Sunday worship to care for one another and to explore our shared rule of life. Home Parishes are communities where we can share our personal and familial prayer needs and offer support to one another in times of illness, loss, etc. It's here that we can also celebrate and mark important milestones on life's journey: anniversaries, new births, career changes, etc. This community also provides a "front porch" for newcomers to encounter the All Saints family.
Communities that Shape
They are formational in nature and designed for growth because it's here that we encounter Christian practices and Spirit-filled people. Each of us has a natural bent in our spiritual formation -- a way that we prefer to experience God and seek to grow in maturity. We need a community made up of a variety of temperaments, gifts, needs, and experience to help us be formed in a more holistic manner, to bring balance to our natural bent by exposing us to other ways of growing in maturity. For example, the person who needs to be with others to experience God's presence has something to learn from the person who experiences God in silence and solitude, and vice versa. The highly analytical personal needs the support of the more spiritually intuitive, feeling person. And so on.
Communities that Send
Home Parishes are communities of service and mission because it's here that we work together in Sunday worship on a rotating basis, and have an opportunity to work together in loving our neighbors well. In serving with others in community, we discern giftings, practice sacrificial giving, and model the strength and beauty of the body of Christ both in the sanctuary and on the street.
Common Rule of Life
A common rule of life is a set of practices and patterns that we, as a congregation, commit to living as best we can in order to faithfully follow Jesus Christ and his word. All Saints Holland's common rule emphasizes the following:
Weekly Eucharistic Worship
Observing the Daily Office
- The Daily Office involves rhythms of daily prayer and Scripture reading guided by the Book of Common Prayer
Home Parish Participation, including:
- Periodic facilitation of Sunday worship services
- Seasonal invitations to spiritual practices:
- Penitential seasons for almsgiving, fasting, confession
- "Tides" for feasting, hospitality, celebration
- Green times (Normal Time) for growth and learning
- Periodic gatherings for meals, study, service, and celebration
Expectations and Relationships
We recognize that true friendships take time and intention to develop and maintain. Members' placement in a home parish based on geography and with people at all stages of life and maturity will likely be more difficult relationally (at least initially) than joining a group based solely on affinity or shared stage of life. That's okay.
Home parishes are not meant to supplant all other meaningful relationships in your life or totally upend your social calendar. Unlike other friendships, clubs, or affinity groups, Home Parishes are intentionally aimed at forming us into people who more faithfully image Christ:
Spiritual formation is not an option! The inescapable conclusion is that life itself is a process of spiritual development. The only choice we have is whether that growth moves us toward wholeness in Christ or toward an increasingly dehumanized and destructive mode of being.
- M. Robert Mulholland Jr.
It's in this network of relationships that we're holding the inescapable formation of our souls in our minds and hearts. We believe friendships and deep connections will grow out of Home Parishes as a consequence of this commitment and as a beautiful fruit of the Spirit's work in our lives together.
But start where you are, rather than where you think you "should" be. You do not have to be best friends with your Home Parish members. Let your relationships develop over time and watch how God is working through this group of people to invite you into deeper union with himself.
Home Parish Resources - Leaders Click Here (coming soon)
Leaders of All Saints Home parishes have access to a password-protected page full of resources and updates.