WHO WE ARE

ABOUT ST. LAZARUS MISSION





Who We Are

DETERMINED TO BE NEIGHBORS FOR THE LONG TERM

For more than 26 years we have been serving together with residents and staff for the benefit of others and the glory of God.  We enable, as much as possible, the full function of the people of God as a local, missional expression of the Body of Christ, a local parish in the facility.  We currently serve in three different nursing homes and have high hopes to adopt more facilities as God leads us — and we want to help others do the same by expressing the need, casting a vision, and providing resources, training, and ongoing support.

Our vision, in one sentence, is to do our part in a greater movement of God to put a flourishing parish in every nursing home.

Each congregation is uniquely able show God’s love to other people around them as the Church becomes part of the fabric of the community.  They demonstrate and proclaim the gospel in a way fellow-residents can understand because the people are highly involved in each others’ lives.
WHAT DO WE BELIEVE?
We hold “the faith once delivered unto the saints.”  We declare our belief in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the Word of God, and the sole rule of faith and practice; in the creed commonly called the Apostles’ Creed; in the Divine institution of the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper; and that Christians from other branches of Christ’s Church are affectionately invited to the Lord’s Table.
TO WHOM ARE WE ACCOUNTABLE?
We are a Mission of the Diocese of the Central States, of the Reformed Episcopal Church, of the Anglican Church in North America.  We welcome other branches of Christ’s Church with sincere affection.  As such, we have a Vicar and a Board who in tandem govern St. Lazarus Mission in mutual submission for the benefit of the people in our care, under the authority of the Bishop of our Diocese, who is in turn under duly appointed authority.
OUR PHILOSOPHY OF MINISTRY

Our charter as a ministry of the Reformed Episcopal Church, a part of the Anglican Church in North America, is to promote the general charitable work of churches, ministering especially to those who are lonely, forgotten, and bound by physical, mental, or other frailty in extended care or similar facilities including Livingston Care Center in Dayton, Ohio.  We offer the light of Christ through worship, sacraments, fellowship, and other charitable acts to foster and extend an active and fruitful Christian community of those to whom and with whom we minister.  Core values include a strong emphasis on ministering to the whole community, the whole person, and a strong emphasis upon personal relationships, prayer, worship, the sacraments of baptism and communion, and having a pastor for God’s people in each nursing home.

The spirit of invitation requires uncompromising and compassionate ministry to all regardless of race, age, affiliation, apparent faith in Christ or lack thereof. While we draw material and human resources primarily from Reformed Episcopal Church parishes, we invite our fellow Christians of other branches of Christ’s Church, and all who love our Divine Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ in sincerity to partner with us in worship, ministry, support, and prayer.


Explaining Our Passion

We hold out the hands of Christ to love the least, lonely, labeled and lost.

St. Lazarus Mission promotes ministry by believers, more than one, a group of people, from multiple churches who are deliberate about working together.  “We” are in Communion, “We” minister with the strength and grace of the Holy Spirit, with Him being the One who holds “we” together in and through Christ Jesus.  “We” includes those to whom and with whom we minister.

We don’t stay away, but we endeavor to be present. No gloves here.  No sterile ministry from a distance.   You can’t pretend, but it has to be real.  We get our hands dirty, and it is sometimes painful work.  Holding out the hands of Christ may mean reaching out our own hands to steady others who totter as they walk, and it means reaching out to help lift people out of loneliness and despair into the presence of the One Gracious and Holy God.  The Holy Scriptures are full of the symbol of hands, the work of the hands, the ever-loving hands and arms of God, etc.   And we are not doing this under our own banner, or for our own name, but for the sake of Christ, Our Lord.  His arms are not too weak to save!  It is Jesus whose hands were outstretched as He willingly gave Himself for us on the cross…Hands remind us of the Lord’s passion and death…and of how He dispelled Thomas’ doubt by showing him the wounds from His passion.

We express God’s love for the world by our work and ministry.  Our life together is a way to image God’s love by really loving without regard to what is in it for us.  We endeavor to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Our passion is His…

We hold out the hands of Christ to love….

Our ministry is really to royalty, the very children of God, and the not yet children of God…heirs of eternal life in Christ…and yet so many are seen by the world as the least.  But, there is a turning upside down going on here.  We serve people who may seem to the world, or even to many in the Church to be the least, when in fact, they are objects of God’s abundant and perfect love.  Widows, for example, have a special place in the heart of God, for He is their Protector.  They may have no other, but the Lord’s ever-loving arms are the best place anyone can be!

Many of the people we love have been forgotten or rejected by their families, their friends, or even their churches.  They have all too often despaired and are tempted to despair and wait around to die.  We work to help the lonely know Love and give context for the lonely to express Love…Love, being Christ. We want Jesus to abide in us, and in the lonely…and they in Him…so the lonely become abundantly aware of Love, of Jesus.

These include the elderly, the mentally ill, the infirm, the teen runaway, the prostitute, the self-identified homosexual, the addict, and all sorts of men and women…and we need to always remember that there is sort a turning upside down in the Kingdom of Jesus – when we label someone, we sort of put a shroud over the reality that all people are precious because they are all made in the image and likeness of God —  God is able to save…and He makes old things new, giving new life, causing a new birth, and He gives everlasting life to His children through Christ.  We are to be the hands of Christ, bringing grace with the truth.  Just as in John 1, we are told that “we beheld His glory…..full of truth and grace.”  Our job is to be full of truth and grace.

We accompany others to bring the light of Christ into the dark places.  Also we seek for Christ’s sheep that are dispersed and as God draws them together, we equip them for the work of the Church for which they are uniquely called.


SOME OF THE MINISTRY'S LEADERS

Rev. Fr. Chris Herman

Vicar

Fr. Chris is a husband and father of three adult children. He graduated in 1988 from the United States Air Force Academy and recently completed his coursework for his MA in Ministry from Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University. He was the Minister in Charge leading the planting of Christ our Hope Anglican Church in Dayton, Ohio. Chris and his wife, Carol, began this ministry together in 1991.

Carol Herman

Mission Administrator

Mother of three and faithful wife, Carol has been ministering in the nursing home environment over 25 years. She was there at the beginning and has been part of every phase of the ministry's history. Carol also serves as Treasurer and on the Board of Directors.

Bradley Winsler

Parish Lay Reader

Bradley recently completed his coursework for his MA in Ministry at Gordon Conwell Seminary. Bradley and his wife, Tammie, are leading the charge to plant a new mission work in Southbrook Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Springfield Ohio. Both are also active at St. Lazarus Mission at Livingston Care Center in Dayton, and are members of Christ the King Anglican Church. Bradley is also a Postulant for ordination to the Diaconate.

JOSEPH McNAMARA

PARISH LAY READER

Joseph and his wife Deepika are key people at St. Lazarus Mission and together they minister within the context of group homes as well. Their practical experience and demonstrated faithfulness in line with Luke 16:10 is exceptional. Joe is spearheading efforts to begin the process of adopting a nursing home near downtown Dayton, Ohio.

Rich Zepernick

Director

Rich has been active at St. Lazarus Mission for more than 20 years. He is well known by the residents as his ministry has been as much, if not more, at the front lines as it has been as a Board member. He and his wife, who are members of Christ our Hope Anglican Church, have four adult children.

Rev. Fr. Wayne McNamara

Director

Pastor to many of our leaders at some point, Fr. Wayne has been a key contributor to the philosophy of ministry since its inception. He was present at the first event in 1991, and continues to serve. He is Rector of Christ the King Anglican Church and serves on the Board of the Children's Hunger Relief Fund (CHRF) as well as the a Christian school, Dominion Academy of Dayton.

The Very Rev. Fr. Harry Mathis

Director

With more almost 40 years of ministry experience, including over 25 in chaplaincy, Fr. Harry serves ably both on the Board and in the field. He is also Rector of Christ our Hope Anglican Church, one of the two key supporting parishes in Dayton, Ohio.

Rev. Fr. Isaac Chavez

Director

Fr. Isaac is an experienced part of the front line team as well as part of the ministry's leadership, serving as a Director. He and his wife, from Christ the King Anglican Church, are raising a young family while serving faithfully as God calls.

Our Partners

ACNA Matthew 25 Initiative,  http://www.anglicanchurch.net/index.php/main/Matthew_25_Initiative/

Children’s Hunger Relief Fund,  www.chrf.org

Christ the King Anglican Church,  www.ckrec.org

Christ our Hope Anglican Church, Dayton, Ohio  www.daytonchurch.org

Dominion Academy of Dayton, Spire Program, www.dominionacademy.org

Trinity Reformed Episcopal Church, Mason, Ohio http://www.trinityrec.org/

Christ our Hope Reformed Episcopal Church, Westpoint, Tennessee, http://christourhoperec.com/

St. James Church, Memphis, Tennessee, http://www.stjamesmem.org/

Diocese of the Central States of the Reformed Episcopal Church, http://www.rec-mdcs.org