New Episcopal Communities

First Monday after Easter report!

August 2, 2013

Quick Update on 1st Mark work around New Church Starts and Missional Initiatives:

In the course of conducting a church-wide survey of new ministries (less than ten years old), I have spoken personally with 90 of our Bishops and hope to have completed conversations with the remaining and their suffragans this month. In each of those 1st Mark conversations, we co-created a brief narrative description of their new ministries (both MEZ’s and NCS) and then explored their hopes and plans for new ministries, both along the lines of New Church Starts and Mission Enterprise Zones. In these conversations, what I hear over and over again is a longing to connect diocesan leaders to each other in meaningful conversations (more like explorations) around what it takes to sponsor and sustain new ministries, as well as explorations into diocesan-wide ministry redevelopment initiatives.

At the end of each conversation, I asked our Church’s bishops to reflect for a moment and then answer the question, “Given our unique positions at the Church Center, what is it that we might offer your ministries there as a way of supporting and blessing all that you are doing?”

Over and over again, I heard, “Connect us to each other in meaningful ways.” They are asking we help them learn from each other. They are asking that we lift up stories that illustrate how Diocesan leaders are making the move from tired old unilateral control models of leadership/management to mutual learning practices. I heard repeatedly that our diocesan leaders are eager to learn how to nurture and sustain conversations that matter for the sake of ministries that are, from the start, transformative to the communities they are called to serve. In the 160 hours of conversation I have hosted with our Bishops, I keep hearing that this is an urgent request! I welcome your partnership in these holy conversations. If you are interested, come join us this Friday at 4 PM Eastern. Here is where you’ll find the connection info. Looking forward to taking next steps with you!