Our Mission and Goals

 

 

Mission Statement

Located in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church is a parish of the Diocese of Olympia, and a member of the Episcopal Church of the United States and the Worldwide Anglican Communion.  Our mission is to worship, love and serve Our Lord Jesus Christ, welcoming everyone, deepening our faith, helping our neighbors, and caring for creation.

Goals

(adopted by the Vestry in August 2021)

 

Enhance and promote healthy spiritual lives for our members and visitors by deepening our relationship with God through strong worship experiences

Results so far:

  1. During COVID, Morning Prayer was offered Sunday morning via Facebook and church web site.  This included a sung hymn and a homily
  2. During the pandemic, we maintained seasonal Taizé services via Zoom to connect us and spiritually enrich us during isolation
  3. To bring a feeling of normalcy when we could not meet in person, we held a virtual Advent wreath lighting and during Lent we offered poems and videos online.  On Ash Wednesday we had a “drive-through” imposition of ashes in our parking lot, and all Holy Week services were offered online or via Zoom
  4. Prior to COVID, we offered a variety of musical expressions including flute, solo vocal, bells and violin and we expect those to resume soon 
  5. Before the pandemic, Godly Play served our children, a Youth Sunday School teacher was added for kids 10 and up, and we added a nursery for infants and toddlers.  During COVID, Sunday School teachers used creative means of connecting such as dropping off learning materials and connecting by mail with students of all ages

 

Enhance communication among our members and with our Whidbey communities

Results so far:

  1. Added Constant Contact to provide email messages to our entire parish family rapidly and all at the same time
  2. Added Zoom so meetings and coffee hours could be done virtually during the pandemic
  3. Added sound systems in both sanctuary and parish hall
  4. Installed a large new lighted sign in front of the church including a letter board to promote upcoming events
  5. Made many improvements to the parish web site and added a parish Facebook page, and installed large new bulletin boards in parish hall

 

Enhance and promote stewardship

  1. Results so far:
  2. Number of pledges has been remarkably stable during two years of pandemic and the average pledge in 2021 increased to more than $4,100
  3. Improved landscaping throughout our large campus
  4. Hosted concerts open to the public by a Gospel choir and Celtic family singers
  5. Continue to offer our space to Boy Scouts, Campfire, Pilates groups and others
  6. installed LED lights and other energy-efficient devices throughout the campus

 

Enhance and promote outreach to the community

Results so far:

  1. We tithe 10 percent of our pledge income for grants to local and national organizations fighting hunger, poverty, and homelessness
  2. In 2021, we joined with SPiN Café, a local organization helping the homeless and very poor, by opening our parish hall five days a week as a daytime gathering place for SPiN guests
  3. The St. Stephen’s community is full of volunteers and those with experience who offer their skills and talent to nonprofits in our community. Part of our outreach involves supporting those efforts already being done by our parishioners in the community
  4. We are studying the possibility of converting our lower lawn area to a community garden

 

Help members discern their gifts and encourage and equip them for service that is a good fit for them

Results so far:

  1. Our small group conversations clearly indicated that this is an important priority for the parish to engage the many talents and skills among us
  2. We are finding new ways to invite people to join an existing ministry or create a new one and
  3. We added a greeter to work with the usher each Sunday to greet new people and seek other ways to welcome and embrace visitors

 

Accomplish a successful search for a new rector

  1. Results so far:
  2. Gathered information on the process from the Diocese
  3. Hired a Diocesan consultant to assist us
  4. Selected and organized a Profile Committee that has been at work since July
  5. Published the completed profile on our web site
  6. Selected a Search Committee to review candidates, assess their fit for St. Stephen’s and make a recommendation to the Vestry