From our statewide listening sessions and the responses to the Holy Cow! Landscape survey we learned that ECMN members yearn for a creative vision to:
- Model Christ’s work
- Engage the gifts of lay and clergy leadership
- Deepen connections through a ministry of presence
- Respond to a desire for theological grounding
- Foster effective congregational care and transformation
Model Christ’s Work
National trends (Renewal Works, Episcopal Church Foundation study) show that people yearn for spiritual depth and all too often are not finding it in church. The ECMN desires to reach out, and one tool that is useful is Presiding Bishop Curry’s Way of Love. This practice, in addition to others, is reinvigorating ECMN faith communities’ connections to our Gospel story, equipping people to discover and practice Christ’s love and to model his work in the world.
Engage the Gifts of Lay and Clergy Leadership
ECMN is blessed with dedicated, creative, and talented people. We want to develop leaders to create grass roots networks to share resources—expertise, spaces, best practices, and money— so as to build upon and strengthen the spirituality and power of the Gospel story in our communities and our world.
Deepen Connections Through Ministry of Presence
The ECMN desires spiritual authenticity. This requires a ministry of presence—truly and thoughtfully listening to and learning from one another and coming into closer relationship with God. The ECMN embraces this adventure of spiritual discovery grounded in God’s love. A ministry of presence requires us to turn toward:
- spiritual practices and away from programmatic thinking
- creative adaptations and away from technical solutions
- equipping local networks and away from centralized systems
- cultivating connected faith communities and away from isolated churches
Respond to a Desire for Theological Grounding
The ECMN rests on a foundation of scripture, tradition, and reason. We desire to ground our work in a theological framework that encourages experimentation with creative practices while respecting our creeds and sacramental traditions. Dwelling in the gospel story and bringing it to light in our current culture and circumstances will enable us to learn from and create sustainable practices to further the work of our faith communities.
Foster Effective Congregational Care and Transformation
The ECMN is committed to exploring avenues to gather and build innovative faith communities to live in the way of Christ’s love. We seek to build upon the work inspired by our deacons, who create bridges from our churches into our communities by listening deeply to the needs of the vulnerable. We aspire to lead by example when sharing faith and serving others in the name of Christ’s love, and we hope to creatively adapt to the opportunities and challenges faced by most mainline denominations.
Walk with us on this adventure of living into Christ’s love here in Minnesota.