All Saints’ Anglican Church
Parish Profile 2019
Parish Overview, Vision and Mission
All Saints’ Anglican Church, located in Amesbury, Massachusetts, is a Christ-centered church whose members are led by the Holy Spirit to love one another and extend God’s love to those around us. From our beginning in 1875 as an Episcopal church in West Newbury, Massachusetts, through our move to Amesbury in 2007 and our role in the founding of the Anglican Diocese in New England in 2009, the people of All Saints’ have embraced their reliance on the power of prayer, their trust in the triune God, and their desire to live life dedicated to the glory and service of God. Throughout our long history, we have seen God’s faithfulness from generation to generation.
For many years our Vision has been to “Grow in the Way of Jesus,” and those who call All Saints’ home have always manifested a strong spirit of welcome, love and hospitality. At this moment in our parish life, we seek a Rector who will lead us forward with clarity and passion to reach out to those who don’t yet know Jesus. We want to grow and increase the richness of our fellowship with children, youth and families especially. We want to share what we’ve been given, being sensitive to the culture around us. We want to be an active place of vibrant life in God, where visitors and seekers find welcome and find Jesus.
The All Saints’ Mission statement declares we are a “Family on Mission that welcomes all, worships God, trains together, and shares the Gospel.” While we believe our current season of transition and anticipated new leadership will provide further opportunity to define and refine this mission, the strong desire we have to share the Gospel remains, infused with a new urgency to reach those outside our doors. It has been encouraging that several young adults who visit remain with us; they say what attracts them are the authenticity and honesty found here. They respect the deep faithfulness of a people seeking to follow God and build His kingdom.
Our Sunday Worship and Ministry Life
Each week the people of All Saints’ look forward to Sunday worship. They gather to give God thanks and praise and be formed in Word and Sacrament. During the Liturgy of the Word, the children ages 3-13 participate in Sheep of the Good Shepherd, a time of lessons and prayers based on the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. They rejoin worship at the warm and lively exchange of Christ’s Peace between and with everyone.
All Saints’ members support Sunday morning worship and also minister during the week. 80% of the parish volunteer in at least one area of ministry life and many help in several. A snapshot of teams that support Sunday worship, fellowship and education include the Altar Guild; Ushers/Greeters; Sound and Vision; Chancel Ministers; Coffee Hour/Hospitality; Music; Nursery; Sheep of the Good Shepherd (spiritual formation for ages 3-13); Prayer Ministers; Lay Readers; and Financial Counters.
Several other groups support ministries and provide fellowship. All Saints’ has teams of dedicated intercessors and pastoral care ministers. At least 60 % of us attend weekly Home Group gatherings. Other teams include Campus Development, Property, Lay Eucharist Visitors, River’s Edge Sharing Garden, and 3DM. The Vestry established a Safety Task Force in 2018 to begin to grapple with the issues of building access and risk management for the well-being of all. This year we are also hosting Celebrate Recovery, a program formerly led by another Amesbury church which has relocated to another community.
The All Saints’ property is situated in a convenient downtown location which benefits those in the community without transportation. The campus consists of four buildings which include the main sanctuary, consecrated as All Saints’ Anglican Cathedral in 2017; the Parish House, which is currently leased by James Place, a non-profit out-of-school-child care center; the two-story accessible School building, now leased by Amesbury Public Schools and home to a small alternative school, the Amesbury Innovation High School; and the former convent, renamed St Aidan’s, which now houses offices for the All Saints’ staff, leases office space to ADNE, and has extra rooms which can provide short-term accommodations.
Even though the cost and maintenance of the campus presents challenges, the rental income supports the church’s mission. Our relationships with our tenants, while of a business nature, are warm. Moreover, as a church, we see the important support our buildings provide for Amesbury children and families. In the past, for example, we have hosted sports in the School’s gym, and both the gym and our commercial kitchen attract current interest. We see these facilities as assets God has provided for present and future outreach.
River’s Edge Sharing Garden
One of our newer initiatives has been the establishment of a community garden. A dedicated and growing number of people inside and outside our parish meet together and share passion, vision and the mission of connecting people with God’s creation and cultivating food and fellowship. The Garden emerged during 2013 to 2019, a time when All Saints’ hosted classes in English as a Second Language (ESL). This year, the need and value of ESL was recognized by the city of Amesbury and classes moved to the local high school. We are pleased to have been a part of ESL’s early development here.
God has provided for All Saints’ financially since its beginning. In the earliest days God answered the prayers of the Emery family and established the church in West Newbury. Subsequent congregations have been faithful and generous givers, eventually deciding to step away from dependence on an historical endowment. Later, when ties were cut with the Episcopal church, All Saints’ left behind all property and financial assets. Clergy left salaries and pensions, and, in a step of faith in 2008, the congregation purchased the present campus from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.
The ongoing debt from this purchase is a considerable financial challenge, of course. But in many ways, we are waiting on the Lord to continue to make clear to us His plans for the campus and the future expansion of His kingdom in greater Amesbury. Today the buildings provide income we need and services and care to those who come to the programs within them. The balance on our mortgage is $1.8 million; our yearly budget is on the order of $275,000. God has provided, and His people give from their hearts toward the work of His kingdom.
We want to build on and expand the missional outreach efforts made in the last two years. Building relationships with people who don’t yet know Jesus matters to everyone here. We have established relationships with local pastors and community leaders and want to do more. Each year we are blessed that several seminarians choose to join our parish family, travelling a significant distance to be with us. Most have been formally mentored; each has assumed leadership responsibilities.
We want to be led strategically with strong pastoral care and guidance. We need to engage in a 1-3 year planning process under new leadership.
We want to find ways to ‘come alongside’ our neighbors with the good news of Jesus Christ; to increase the reasons neighbors not yet here would want to visit and find welcome.
We want to expand our community garden around town and see people of all ages find a place to belong.
We want to continue to discern God’s plans for our campus and be faithful stewards of what we have been given.
We seek an experienced pastor who:
- has a strong personal relationship with Jesus Christ; a Biblically-grounded believer
- is trained and competent in the use of Scriptures, preferably but not necessarily holding a Master of Divinity from an accredited institution
- will provide strong, inspirational pastoral and administrative leadership
- is an outgoing person who enjoys meeting people
- is culturally sensitive to New England and has a heart for evangelism