Fall 2022 | Volume 84 | No. 3
In This Issue
“What Does It Take to Make Church?” Our lives and our communities have been transformed over the past two years. We have lost much and necessarily let go of much we held dear, individually and collectively. We have also discovered new ways to nurture and sustain ourselves and each other in creative new ways. Now we are asking the important questions in new ways: What are we called to? How do we connect? How do we tether ourselves to God and tether our hearts to each other?
What Does It Take to Make Church?
by Bishop Kym Lucas

Earlier this year, during an extended meeting, I asked my staff to take some time and consider the question, “What does it take to make church?” I asked them to mentally strip away all the “things” of church, the accoutrements that we have become used to, and articulate what at root makes us the Body of Christ. The staff came up with the following “ingredients”:
Connectedness Created Through Family & Youth Camps
by Renzi Ricketts

I have seen the magic manifest from thin air thousands of times this summer. I have heard it echo from the mountains surrounding us and bounce from one tree to another. I have smelled the magic, one perfectly toasted or burnt marshmallow and smoky campfire at a time.

We begin the transformative process by stepping out and into new experiences like our weekend family camps and weeklong youth camps. Under the cathedral of trees, we can allow nature and God to nurture us.
Building Beloved Community — An Invitation into Relationship with Young Adults
by Rev. Gretchen Roeck

Over the past eighteen months, in the middle of the pandemic, 30 young adults, ages 18 to 24, gathered over 200 of their peers. In small groups, in person and online, they came together to talk about life, love, calling, and discernment about God, faith, identity, and belonging.

Young people today face a loneliness crisis. Seventy-five percent of American adults report they experience moderate to severe loneliness — and that was before the pandemic. As followers of Jesus, we know that God’s dream for us is Beloved Community, not social isolation. All human beings deserve to flourish in a community where their giftedness can bless others.
Abound Retreats: Making Church in the Mountains
by Rev. Linda Brown and Jesse Brown

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of the Bishop organized “Affinity Groups” to meet regularly via Zoom. Composed of both clergy and laypeople, these groups were organized around common interests and ministries in the church: for example, clergy of small, medium, and large congregations in addition to bishop’s wardens. senior wardens, and deacons. The intent of these regular gatherings is to help clergy and lay leaders — even during isolation — stay connected with one another and encourage each other in their respective ministries. As the Episcopal Church, we were all learning how to use technology to help us meet despite the boundaries of our isolation and barriers inherent in the plains, mountains, and plateaus of Colorado geography. With diligent effort, we are staying connected to make church and be church.
Grief, Money Narratives, and Annual Giving
Sharing grief changes reasons for giving
by Erin Weber-Johnson

As someone who guides faith communities and institutions in the work of discerning how to follow God’s call, and how they can best steward their resources to serve their mission in a given context, this question has long held relevance. As we think about raising money and leading congregations — especially when we know that the “now” is riddled with grief — this question feels more relevant than ever.

What does it look like to give voice to this experience of grief and lead in light of the changes and losses our collective grief points toward? My experience tells me that deep questions like this need answers that meet the real world challenges faith communities and their leaders face. So it is the question, “What do we do now?” that shows up and is articulated out of the real dirt, the down to earth, lived experiences of ministry.
Connect With Us

Do you have comments, suggestions, or feedback that would be helpful to us as we offer future articles and content? Please contact Mike Orr, Canon for Communications & Evangelism, at Communications@EpiscopalColorado.org