Above: Participants in the Learning Communities Initiative kick-off day spent time reflecting on scripture and listening to one another’s stories. More photos available on Facebook>
God is present and ready to partner with Central New York congregations in ministry—this confidence was spreading at the kickoff for year two of our diocesan Learning Communities Initiative. Over 100 leaders from 27 congregations were present for the event, which took place on Saturday, March 9th at the Lodge at Welch Allyn in Skaneateles. “There was a stirring of the Spirit’s presence in the room,” said Carol Ackley, leader of the Learning Communities Initiative Coordinating Team, “we were filled with prayerful enthusiastic energy.”
Participating congregations will spend the next nine months discerning God’s call to them through a three-step process: Listen—Try—Share.
- Listening: to God in individual and communal prayer, to our neighbors in conversation, and to one another through interviewing and storytelling.
- Trying: taking action in response to what we’ve heard; experimenting with new behaviors, activities, and events.
- Sharing: reflecting prayerfully and learning from our actions; supporting and encouraging one another—and readying one another to begin the process again.
Between now and the next Learning Communities Initiative gathering in June, leaders in participating congregations will focus on making ways to listen to God, neighbors, and each other. They’ll schedule interviews to learn about one another’s faith; they’ll do “prayer walks” through their neighborhoods to look for God’s activity in their communities; they’ll plan regular times of prayer with one another, and they’ll check in regularly with Learning Communities Initiative coaches for encouragement and accountability. “We’re seeing folks approach this with a real openness of heart,” says Ackley. “I”m excited for the months ahead.”
Learn more about the Learning Communities Initiative at cnyepiscopal.org/learning-communities>