Disciple: Adding Voices
Mission Strategy Task Force provides preview and invites feedback
- Racial Reconciliation and Social Justice,
- Congregational Vitality,
- Collaboration and New Communities,
- Lifelong Christian Formation and
- Creation Care.
It was time to share the mission strategy with the Diocese.
EXTENDING THE INVITATION
The task force collected every piece of feedback, whether offered via email, phone call, conversation or casual mention. Already they are hard at work incorporating the feedback into the developing plan to ensure as many voices as possible are part of the mission strategy that will launch at the 206th Annual Convention in November.
TAKE A LOOK: THE GOALS SO FAR
We offer the goals outlined in the preview here, though we strongly recommend visiting the Mission Strategy (So Far) page on the diocesan website (episdionc.org/mission-strategy). There you can view the video or download a summary of the goals and strategies for additional information and context that space prevents us from including here.
RACIAL RECONCILIATION AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
- Support, resource and equip three or more historically white congregations in researching their history with race (e.g. political, economic, architectural); Timeline: 1-2 years
- Preserve the essential story of the development of Black leadership in North Carolina and the history of justice intertwined with that. Continue the work with All Saints, Warrenton; Timeline: 1-2 years
- Conversation and then action on restitution to redress historic injustice in our diocese toward historically Black congregations and African Americans; Timeline: 1-5 years
- Dismantling Racism: spread the new training and associated opportunities, like pilgrimages; Timeline: 1-5 years
- Look towards establishing two new communities gathering and serving in areas of our diocese where African American and Latino/Hispanic populations are growing; Timeline: 1-1.5 years
- Increase and improve Spanish-English bilingual, bicultural communications, worship resources and important diocesan documents; Timeline: 1-2 years
- Becoming Beloved Community by expanding inclusivity for African Americans and Hispanics who are differently abled physically and mentally; Timeline: 2 -3 years
- Unite congregations, worshiping communities, and formal and informal networks; Timeline: 1-2 years
- Develop “Faithful Futures” resources for financially struggling congregations; convene and host gatherings to share ideas, build momentum and provide financial resourcing to communities throughout the Diocese; Timeline: 1-2 years
- Increase collaboration between youth department and the wider diocesan team and increase connections among diocesan leaders and congregational leaders for the purposes of learning, community, mutual encouragement and growing youth ministry in the Diocese of North Carolina
- Focus on development of Lay Ministry, Lay Professional Ministry and Lay Commission on Ministry; expand capabilities—with a particular focus on lay leadership—through the sacred practices of prayer, discernment, trying on new missional experiments, and growing as disciples (formed) and apostles (sent) to fully engage God’s mission; Timeline: 2-5 years
- Develop guidelines and possible new canonical structure for “What constitutes a parish or worshiping community in the Diocese of North Carolina?” Consider establishment of a “third bucket” for officially recognizing communities to augment parish and mission structure; Timeline: 2-5 years
COLLABORATION AND NEW COMMUNITIES
- Establish collaboration as a best practice for building beloved community and equip clergy, staff and congregations to collaborate effectively; Timeline: 1-3 years
- Lay leadership development at the convocation levels; Timeline: 1-3 years
- Create sustainability in new communities and sustainability for the existing new communities; Timeline: 1-3 years
- Look for opportunities for new worshiping communities and missional initiatives, either traditional or alternative models, with particular focus on diversity and supporting historically disenfranchised communities; Timeline: 2-7 years.
- To form disciples who understand the biblical and moral imperatives for seeking racial, environmental and social justice
- To offer lifelong and multigenerational formation to support discipleship throughout the Diocese
- To equip disciples who understand the biblical and moral imperatives of creation care and provide resources to enable disciple advocacy
- To prepare Christian disciples to understand and appreciate other faith traditions while strengthening our own faith journey
- Become Deeper Green Churches
- Look at creation care through a racial equity lens
- Commit to climate stabilization through emissions reductions
- Restore the Earth using natural systems
- Engage in environmental advocacy
WE’RE NOT DONE YET
Did you notice the intersection points? They’re everywhere. How many times did you read about developing and supporting lay leaders and ministry? Or making racial equity and creation care a part of everything we do? Or formation informing the health of our congregations and ourselves? Or how we must work together on every front, expanding our body to include and serve the neighbors in our communities?
The mission strategy of the Diocese of North Carolina belongs to us all. It has the potential to be our road map for Becoming (and building) Beloved Community. Like any map, it offers multiple ways to reach our destination. This plan is not set in stone. It leaves room to explore new roads, to make unexpected turns as opportunities develop and to adapt to the changing conditions one can encounter as one travels. It welcomes the work you are already doing and the ideas of where your congregation would like to go next.
It is an invitation for all, Episcopal and non-Episcopal alike, to take part, for each of us to find our place in this missional movement.
But the mission strategy is not yet done. It will not be done when it launches at Convention. That is because it is designed to be a living, growing set of guidelines. It is being developed with an intention of seeing it implemented from a grassroots approach—a bottom-up approach, rather than the top-down path we are used to traveling. It is something to be seen as organic growth, rather than the usual programmatic distribution.
The work already happening in your congregations has a place in the mission strategy. The ideas of what you want to do next has a place in the mission strategy. Your voice has a place. You have a place.
Because the mission strategy is intended to guide all of us on the journey we are taking together—our journey of Becoming Beloved Community.
GET THE WHOLE STORY
Learn more about the mission strategy, including the strategies and thoughts behind the goals here.
Tags: North Carolina Disciple