Session 4 - "What are our Core Values?"

St. Peter’s members on June 1st to discuss the first question: “What are our Core Values?” This question would not be fully answered in the time allotted; however, 12 participants engaged in both small and larger group discussions on this topic to provide the groundwork for the Vestry to take up the crafting of a set of Core Values.

What is the purpose of the Church?

We’ve been working with these two quotes from Archbishops of Canterbury Justin Welby and William Temple:

First, the church exists to worship God in Jesus Christ. Second, the Church exists to make new disciples of Jesus Christ. Everything else is decoration. Some of it may be very necessary, useful or wonderful decoration, but it’s decoration.

The Church is the only institution that exists primarily for the benefit of those who are not its members.

So our working definition of why St. Peter’s exists is:

To worship God in Jesus Christ, and

Make new disciples of Jesus Christ

for the sake of the whole world.

As we considered these statements, the purposes of the church broke out into four broad and interconnected categories:


Each of these interrelated elements had several components and we identified the “St. Peter’s Specific” elements to add to each category.


Every church has these functions but each church does them differently and values different things. We spent the morning discussing what were the unique qualities about St. Peter’s approach to “being church.” These conversations begin to reveal the underlying values of the parish.

In addition to adding St. Peter’s unique approach to these items, we brainstormed descriptors of how we would speak of St. Peter’s. We also discussed the barriers and facilitators to inclusion, some of which we cannot address, some of which we need be aware, and some which can be addressed.

With the input from today’s session, the Vestry will work to craft a Core Values statement for St. Peter’s.

What qualities do we seek in ordained leaders for St. Peter’s?

This question has been asked at every session of this visioning process. A few things were incorporated in the list today. You may access the updated list at

If you have any feedback to give regarding this list of competencies, please email your input to the Senior Warden, Judi Mahaffey at