February 2020
Dear Friends,

What is a church supposed to be?

Is it supposed to be a place of worship that offers spiritual practice and identity? A place of refuge from the world? A base camp for those working for God’s kingdom in their daily lives? A place of direct response to human need?

As the shape of faith communities continues to change with respect to financial resources, physical plant, and leadership models, we’re forced to grapple with this question. And sometimes there’s a sense of shame about it: “If we had been living the way of Jesus the right way, our church wouldn’t be so small now.” That shame, of course, only gets in the way of listening to how the Holy Spirit is calling us, in this new day, to show up for the Kingdom of God.

Let’s be clear: there is not one right way to be a faith community. There’s so much that depends on identity, context, and assets. The church in Rome was not the same as the church in Ephesus or in Corinth. The church in Ely is not the same as the cathedral in Minneapolis or the school in Faribault. As our bishop-elect Craig Loya said in one of the tour stops, a ‘diverse church ecology’ is a strength, not a weakness, of our network. There’s room for many different approaches and methods of being church.

But there is something all of those models have in common: apprenticing people into the Way of Jesus. You can call it ‘formation’ or ‘discipleship’ if you want – both of those words point to helping people see their lives grafted into God’s story, and making choices with their lives that help them show up for Kingdom of God.

Our worship is a vehicle for that apprenticeship. But so is the coffee hour. And the website, engagement with neighbors, social justice work, pastoral care, small groups, knitting circle, vestry, children’s choir, finance committee, team meeting, and buildings and grounds committee. All of it is discipleship, all of it is formation, all of it is apprenticing people into something. There is a message in your method, whether you intend it or not. Read the rest here.

The Rev. Susan Daughtry |  Missioner for Formation 
Emilia Allen |  Missional Support 
Pre-Lent Clergy Retreat | February 19
Lay Leadership Day | February 29
Audit Day | March 14
Team Ministry Day | March 28
How do you prepare adults and parents of children to participate in this sacrament? As a group, we will explore how what you believe about baptism shapes your baptism preparation ministry. We will look at different preparation models and resources, and we will apply our learnings to your current faith community. Learn more and register.
This workshop is a next step for those who have completed our  Building Bridges Across Culture and Race  course. Over the course of the day, you’ll receive an updated approach to your Intercultural Development Plan, reflect with others on the steps you’ve taken, and update the plan for your ministry context now.  Learn more and register.
Upcoming Courses
Soul Food for Faithful Leadership
A twelve part conversation series on the themes of his new book, integrating the wisdom of The Universal Christ amidst diapers, disruptions, and the shifting state of our world.
From Church Publishing -- a great way to dive deeper into the practices of the Way of Love.

Writer Jenny Odell sees our attention as the most precious—and overdrawn—resource we have.

" Beyond average Sunday attendance, there are other ways to measure the role of churches in the community. Things like footprint, partners, impact, and calling also tell a story. "
Planning for the end of life from Faith & Leadership
How to help someone share their story from Church Communicators
Take the next step with
the School for Formation
Click the buttons below to find more information on resources and opportunities to grow in your faith and leadership with the School for Formation.
ECMN Projects and Priorities
Resources to help us follow the Way of Jesus together.
New policies to help us live our faith together.
Coming to camp - as a camper AND as a counselor/leader - is excellent leadership formation.
Beyond the SFF
Daily practices to reduce your plastic use -- from friends at Green Anglicans, based in South Africa. In English and in Spanish!
Be the Spark! Organizing Training
Hosted by Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light
February 9 or February 23, 2020
Get connected here
Music that Makes Community
Connecting a worldwide network of practitioners and leaders who share a practice of paperless song leading.
February 6, 2020
Asset-mapping is a simple tool that can transform the way your congregation thinks about possibilities for new ministry and new impact.
Updated December 2019. R equirements and advice on internal controls, accounting guidelines, and business practices.
Your faith community can use the Episcopal Church's Census Engagement Toolkit to make sure everyone in your neighborhood gets counted.  Get it here.
EHOP in the City
1101 W Broadway Ave, Minneapolis
Saturday, March 7:  Introduction to Discernment
The Rev. Susan Daughtry | Missioner for Formation | Episcopal Church in Minnesota www.schoolforformation.org l formation@episcopalmn.org | Sign up to get this email