Few would be better prepared to answer the call of a “missional age” than Edwin, who has worked in missions in Spain and North Africa, as a preacher in Puerto Rico, and as of October 2022, an ordained ELCA pastor.
Valley Metanoia Network is a Synodically Authorized Worshiping Community, synod-speak for a greenhouse or nursery for future ministries.
“Metanoia is a Greek word that means transformation,” Edwin explains of the ministry’s name. “Some use conversion for the translation, or better yet to change a way of thinking.”
“One of the biggest problems of the church, perhaps the biggest, is the problem of identity,” Edwin adds. “The church has forgotten fundamentally who it is, and why it exists.” He sees that transformation or metanoia, as necessary for the age of change we are living through.
It’s clear from Edwin’s welcoming demeanor that he values inclusivity in this vision for a church transformed. “I love to serve a Lord who loves diversity, who calls this diversity in all its expressions.” He even serves as the Multiethnic Coordinator for the Synod, supporting congregations where distinct cultures meet and extra intentionality is needed.
In 2023, he has two primary goals for the nascent Valley Metanoia Network. First, expanding the leadership team beyond its current three leaders. Second, to create a learning community and study the leadership required for the church to move from institutional to missional, to be “sent by the Spirit to do the work of God.”
Edwin weaves together theology, ecclesiology, and inclusive organizing with the zeal of what you’d expect from, well, a missionary. And through all of it runs his clear reliance on prayer and the Spirit to guide the church closer to God’s will.
“I want with all my heart for the people who read this story to write in some place, a little piece of paper, a sticky note on the fridge, ‘Pray for Valley Metanoia Network,’” Edwin asked. “We need a lot of prayer.”