Collaboration & New Communities
To encourage and support collaborative work through education and resources, facilitating the creation and sustainability of new (and older) partnerships, networks, ministries and communities.
DIOCESAN GOALS & STRATEGIES:
The purpose listed above is an invitation to the creativity and ingenuity of our churches to help us accomplish our priority objective. We do, however, have diocesan-wide goals set to help guide the work. Your gifts are needed, whether to achieve the diocesan goals or to show us additional ways to fulfill our purpose.
Download the in-depth summary of goals and resources (Coming Soon)
Goal 1: Establish collaboration as a best practice for Building Beloved Community and equip clergy, staff and congregations to collaborate effectively
Timeline: 1-3 years
- Develop a “theology of collaboration” as a grounding for this priority, which is a means of accomplishing all others as well as an end in itself.
- Assemble and introduce a “Collaboration Toolkit.”
- Raise awareness of the need to identify and support new opportunities for collaboration in our diocese.
- Develop a team of “collaboration facilitators,” ideally available within each convocation.
- For each new undertaking, discuss and consider whether a collaborative approach (with another group, church, or organization) would increase the undertaking’s effectiveness and inclusiveness, and/or expand or enhance the mission of ALL partners to the potential collaboration.
- Continue to identify and lift up existing and especially new and/or growing collaborations.
Goal 2: Lay leadership development at the convocation levels
Timeline: 1-3 years
- Develop a process for lay ministry discernment
- Create and support networks for various ministries and communities.
- Assemble resources – generate and maintain an active list of leadership development and congregational vitality resources in our diocese and the wider church, and then promote this
- Recognize and honor our lay leaders and their contributions
- Foster a culture in which people recognize not just their own gifts but the gifts of others.
- Succession planning: Work to establish a culture that embraces healthy and sustainable leadership.
Goal 3: Create sustainability in new communities, and sustainability for the existing new communities
Timeline: 1-3 years
- Redefine “sustainability” from a missional perspective
- Flesh out the full guidance and process for what is being called the Sustainability Fund
- Support systems and ongoing leadership development
- Identify other revenue streams
- Clearly identify human resource support that is needed to promote the sustainability of new communities
Goal 4: Work with Global Mission Committee to initiate and develop congregational Global Mission Partnerships
Timeline: 1-3 years
- Raise the profile of global mission and pilgrimage opportunities diocesan-wide through communication, events, and formation, particularly through the initiative and guidance of the Chartered Committee on Global Mission.
competencies in cross-cultural collaboration and develop a deeper understanding of the theology of global mission, the intentional practice of mission and pilgrimage, and engagement in spiritual practices with global partners.
- Acknowledging our western bias and past colonial tendencies, engage in reciprocal relationships that honor the experiences and understandings of our mission partners.
- Continue to strengthen and deepen ties with our two companion dioceses, Botswana and Costa Rica, through visitation and focus on building relationships.
- Celebrate the varied historic engagement of congregations in global mission throughout the world, and encourage new local initiatives in global partnership and companionship.
Goal 5: 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
- Develop a “roadmap” for those discerning the potential/need for New Episcopal Communities (NECs) to follow in engaging diocesan support
- Develop a general framework for potential church planters and NEC developers to reference in their own discernment
- Develop processes for identifying potential NEC developers or redevelopers and church planters, encouraging them in this work, and equipping them to engage it.
- Because this work is a multi-year, financially-intensive effort, develop specific strategies and mechanisms for providing access to multi-year funding using a mix of diocesan and other resources
Shared at the Special Convention on March 5, 2022, this video provides an overview of what we're trying to accomplish with the priority along with stories of work already happening.
When first shared in August 2021, this priority did not originally contain Goal 4, Global Mission partnerships. Strategies for that goal are in development.
- Gather a group and reflect on your current practices of collaboration and ways to expand connections and partnerships. This could be an informal conversation, a formation discussion, or a topic for a meeting (perhaps the vestry!) Make lists, and think about which ministries and collaborations have gone well and what you have learned
- Think about lay leadership. Do any of your lay leaders have non-traditional roles in the congregation, and are there appropriate opportunities to deepen connections and ministry.
- Connect with other congregations, your convocation, and the wider diocese to talk about lay leadership
- Learn about global partnerships in the Diocese of North Carolina and Global Mission Grants.
- Make a list of all the things that make your congregation sustainable, as well as the things that are not sustainable. Share this list with your vestry and ministry leaders and reflect on what is needed to create more sustainability.
- Brainstorm possibilities for new collaborations, partnerships, and missional initiatives. See what exciting and holy ideas you can come up with!
- Hold a vestry conversation about collaboration beyond the congregation using demographic data on your neighborhood (the Congregational Mission and Support Team can provide this information for you).
- Connect with your convocation dean and join in convocation meetings. Participate in diocesan offerings for lay leadership development, including formation programs and Lay Ministry Discernment groups
- Work with the Diocese of North Carolina Global Mission committee to connect with and support global mission partnerships. Participate in a diocesan pilgrimage to Botswana, Costa Rica or the Holy Land. Consider a congregational pilgrimage. Pray for our mission partners.
- Include partnership, collaboration, and support for new communities as a topic in strategic planning conversations. Look for ways to connect beyond the congregation and make long term plans to support this work.
- The diocesan congregational support staff members
- Diocesan grants like the Mission Endowment Grant have been used to help fund collaborative ministries and development of new communities.
- The Global Missions grant is available for parishes that would like to engage in global missions.
- TheEpiscopal Asset Map functions as an asset map of ministries, If you are interested in starting a new ministry, and would like to know who else is already working on this, you can use the search “Ministries” feature on the map. We also encourage all churches to update their ministries to the map.
- A Community-shaping Collaboration (Disciple, Fall 2018)
- Know Your Neighbor, Serve Your Neighbor (Disciple, Summer 2018)