“Pray … that God’s vision will be our vision.”
Watch above: Bishop DeDe introduces the diocesan visioning process and asks for your prayers as the Diocesan Board, Standing Committee, staff and representative voices from around the diocese discern the particular ways that God is calling our diocese to minister together today and in the years to come.
Where have you been seeing God at work, and hearing God’s call, in your parish community?
Greetings, friends. I hope you’re well. I am so excited to share with you a new visioning process that’s begun in the Diocese. This past year we had 33 congregations join together for the Learning Communities Initiative, and even more gathered together for boundaries workshops, conversations, and participation in the enrichment offerings of the Diocese to develop new skills for ministry. That is continuing this year with 22 congregations being part of the Learning Communities Initiative and even more things happening.
We are a part of a Diocese that’s flourishing, and that is a wonderful thing! But what is God’s vision for our Diocese, and how will we know if we’re following the leading of the Holy Spirit, or just doing fun new things? It’s good to do fun things, and church should be enjoyable and uplifting. But God is also calling us into shared ministry in very particular ways.
I’ve invited the Diocesan Board, the Standing Committee, the staff, and representative voices from across the Diocese to be part of a visioning process. This process has already begun and will continue this weekend as we gather for a retreat. We’ll be telling stories and hearing where God has been active and part of our ministry. We will be seeking to have a vision statement that is developed in community. Even more importantly, perhaps, we will be seeking to develop a a rule of life, a covenant together for how we will face challenges, how we will celebrate what God is doing, and how we will work together more effectively to minister as a Diocese.
I invite you to be part of this good work by praying for us, and by considering how in your own life, and in your parish, God is alive and at work in your ministry and in your shared love for one another. I invite you to pray not only for this upcoming visioning retreat, but for the visioning process as an ongoing movement in the Diocese.
At the Leadership Day in March, the visioning team will be sharing with the whole Diocese some of what we’ve learned. We will be inviting you to be part of an unfolding of this good work. This is not something that will just stay at the Diocesan office. This vision is to have impact for all of us, in each way that we minister. At our pre-Convention meetings in the fall, we will then have conversation about how the Diocesan vision might impact you parish’s vision. How it might empower you to listen and hear God’s call for you in your own context. Much of what we’ve learned with the Learning Communities Initiative will come to play in this. We’ll be praying together, listening together, acting together, and reflecting on our experience of God’s call for our lives.
Know that you are dearly loved and very much a part of what is happening. I’m grateful for your prayers; grateful for your openness to listen to God’s voice. God’s Spirit is moving in our midst, that we may be united in new ways and old ways: to love our neighbors as ourselves, to seek and serve Christ and all persons, and most of all to be the Diocese that God has called us to be, that God’s vision will be our vision. May God’s blessings be with you this day and always.