Late July, 2022

A few days ago, I was talking with a leader here in ECMN, who said, “I’m not sure where the summer went! We’ve been going at a breakneck pace since January. How are we going to keep this up when the fall gets here?” We laughed, but he put his finger on something important. In my travels and conversations with y’all, I’ve heard a lot of us observing the overwhelming pace of life and ministry this summer.

My sense is that we’re all in yet another wave of reinventing. COVID forced us all to reinvent our household routines, our work routines, and almost everything about the way we be church together. And as vaccines and new variants rolled through, we had to reinvent again… and again. That change came with fear and anxiety. Tt wasn’t our choice, and we moved into it kicking and screaming, or bravely, or both at the same time. For two (or was it three? Or ten?) years.

Now, we’re in yet another wave of reinventing ourselves. Death rates have fallen, masks are optional, boosters are available, and things are going back to . . . normal? And now from this late July moment, we look at the fall and see another chance for a new start. In our personal lives, school and work routines, family reunions, sports and hobbies and faith have all gone through massive shifts. Beyond the need to reinvent patterns, many of us are asking what we actually want to return to – whether our pre-COVID rhythms fit in the fresh light of 2022. A collective brush with death has turned some of us toward meaning and purpose in new ways. In our experiences of faith, the past two years have had massive impact: We learned to pray differently, we wrestled with God and with our anxiety, we found new ways to encounter Jesus and listen to the Holy Spirit. All of this means that we’re a globe full of individuals who are ripe for big change. Read the rest...

Walking the way,
Susan+
The Very Rev. Susan Daughtry
Dean of Formation
Discipleship
Practices, prayer, learning, and experiences that shape us as Christians.
The Season After Pentecost 2022: Discipleship resources
Spiritual practices aren't another 'to-do'they are a way to slow ourselves down so that we can be present to God. Find below two sets of spiritual practices you can undertake on your own or with groups, as well as book recommendations for small group conversation.

Deepen your Discipleship:
Ignatian Spiritual Practices
Five Zoom sessions over five weeks:
Monday evenings 7-8:30, Oct 10, 17, 24, 31, Nov 7

One of the deep desires of the Episcopal Church is to be a vibrant branch of the Jesus Movementthe ongoing community of people who center their lives on Jesus and follow him into loving, liberating and life-giving relationships with God, each other, and creation. Five hundred years ago a wounded soldier named Ignatius noticed a similar desire to follow the way of Jesus and recorded his experience of shifting to do just that. The insights and practices coming from that shift have been so helpful they have been passed down through the centuries and are available to us today.

This six part series is designed for you to experience Ignatian spiritual practices and consider if they are something that helps your relationship with God, others, and creation. By the end of the series you will know the core assumptions of Ignatian spirituality. You will bring your imagination to a prayerful reflection on Scripture. And, you will practice incorporating sacred conversation into your personal prayer. 

We're excited to partner with the Loyola Spirituality Center to offer this experience! The series will be led by Dan Johnson, a member at St Matthew’s in St. Paul, and the Managing Director of Loyola Spirituality Center. Dan is an experienced teacher and spiritual director. He has been listening to people’s spiritual stories for twenty-five years as a companion and encourager in noticing God’s interaction in our lives. His own spiritual practices are shaped by Ignatian spirituality. He earned a Masters degree in Christian Spirituality from Creighton University in Omaha.

Training for Liturgical Leaders
Short-form resources to help you kick off the year on solid footing.
The School for Formation’s partnership with Churchnext.tv allows us to offer their courses for free to ECMN congregations and members. On-demand and available for groups or individuals, each one takes about 45 minutes to complete. 

Train your liturgical leaders with these easy-to-use resources:
The Ministry of Acolytes
Reading and Praying in Church: The Office of Lector
Lay Eucharistic Ministry
Lay Eucharistic Visitation 
Holy Hardware
School for
Formation
Courses and workshops for all
(lay and ordained) seeking to take the next step in faith.
Workshops Coming Up
Learn new skills in one or two live meetings
The Art of Gathering
Saturday, October 8, 2022, on Zoom
All gatherings start with one question: “Why do this?” When we are clear on our why, we make gatherings worthy of those who show up and worthy of God’s dream for the world. When we lack clarity on why we gather, our liturgy turns from joyful to routine. The Art of Gathering will inspire you to fine-tune everything from coffee hour to liturgy to vestry meetings to make all your gatherings truly count. This workshop is a great complement to the Faithful Innovation process! Save the date. Registration coming soon here.
Next Steps with Asset-Based Community Development
Saturday, October 8, 2022, on Zoom. We offer an introductory workshop in Asset-Based Community Development (also on October 8). If you've completed that workshop or want a deeper dive, this '201' workshop is a great chance to put your ABCD skills into action, reflect on how you've used it, and plan next steps. More here.
Online Courses start in August

Registration is open for School for Formation courses!

Who can register?
You can! All of the courses here are open to lay people, ordained folks, and people seeking ordination.

What's it like?
Each of the courses below happens over seven weeks, with online engagement, some live zoom sessions, readings, responses, an engaged instructor, and a community of folks from all over Minnesota. Expect to spend 2 hours per week working on the course.

What does it cost?
Most of our courses don't require tuition. Your generous gifts help us keep these courses within reach for folks across ECMN.

More Formation Resources
Resources and events to support your ministry of making disciples.
Adult Forum, Baptism, Confirmation, and Inquirer's Resources
As you plan your approach to faith formation for adults this year, don't forget about the on-demand resources available through SFF's partnership with ChurchNext.

For example: Looking for a concise, accessible explanation of Episcopal faith and beliefs? The Revs. Scott Gunn and Melody Shobe unpack the basic beliefs and practices of the Episcopal tradition. This series of five on-demand video courses is based on the companion book Walk in Love and is a great resource for new members, adult baptism, and confirmation. Find these free resources and more at ecmn.pathwright.com.
Get ready for stewardship season with Project Resource
Project Resource provides teaching, focus, and adaptable resources to equip clergy and lay leaders to develop their year-round annual stewardship campaigns and to plan, ask for, and receive major gifts.
Community of Hope Training in ECMN
Community of Hope International equips lay people to serve in all forms of pastoral care. Pastoral care is when a person is presentin a listening, compassionate, non-controlling mannerto an individual or group for the purpose of consciously or unconsciously representing God to them and seeking to respond to their spiritual needs. Through ongoing spiritual formation and practical lessons on caregiving, members learn to match theological insights and spiritual practices with their experiences of ministering to others and giving spiritual guidance. Find more about the COH approach here.
Several congregations in ECMN have already formed 'Circles of Care' in the Community of Hope model. We're exploring ways to bring COH training into reach for congregations and regions here in Minnesota in early 2023. If you are interested in learning more about this approach to lay pastoral care ministry, or joining in the training, please email Susan Daughtry, Dean of Formation, at susan.d@episcopalmn.org.
Support the SFF
This year, most of the SFF's courses will continue with the no-tuition-required registration. (Those that we offer in partnership with CDSP will direct students to register directly with CDSP, and we can help defray some of those fees if needed.) We’re excited to continue this experiment in removing the tuition barrier, to continue learning, to continue evolving to best serve ECMN’s congregations and people.  If you are in a position to make a financial donation, your gift will help us continue to offer robust learning opportunities at accessible rates for ECMN leaders in the future. Thank you for your support!
The Very Rev. Susan Daughtry | Dean of Formation
Episcopal Church in Minnesota | www.schoolforformation.org
formation@episcopalmn.org | Sign up to get this email