Jesus said, "What about the seed that fell on the good ground? That is like the people who hear the teaching and understand it. They grow and produce a good crop..."  (Matthew 13:23)
September 2018
First on-sight visit!

You are welcome to attend:

September 2018
4th Sunday

St. Augustine Episcopal
Sept 30, 2018
10:30 a.m.
546 W South St
Mason, MI 48854

We will join the congregation for worship and stay for coffee hour. Our group will meeting the congregation plus do some introductions and planning.

The overall theme of the day is “Welcoming!” so bring your examples of what your congregation does, or what you have seen done well (or poorly) for welcoming new folks, visitors, or others into your midst.

Please send me an email to let me know how many
Planting Seeds
from the Ministry Developer

Greetings in Christ!

Our first Think, Pray, Listen gathering will be Sunday, September 30, 2018 at St. Augustine’s Mason!

When we gather there our focus will be on “Welcoming!”

For everyone, and especially those who cannot attend, this newsletter follows that theme with some thoughts about how we include folks through our churches.

I look forward to working with you through this opportunity to gather, think, pray, and listen to God’s insights for us!


Nancy Ann McLaughlin

How do we welcome people to come to our church communities and, then once they are there, how do we welcome them within our midst? This is the focus as we start our intentional thinking, praying, and listening to God's good news for us!

Here are some resources to think and pray about before we gather to listen as we share our experiences and then listen some more for God's guidance:
Who is Looking for a Church Home?

You might be surprised who is listening to God's voice! It is often people in some time of transition like a move, a loss within the family, or a feeling of loneliness after retirement. Sometimes it might be someone with a health or employment challenge or even someone who had been active in the past and now may like to come back to church - perhaps in time for the holidays!

Click here for a short article on this topic from John Zehring.
Once You Invite Them and They Come, now what?

Doug Powe in this article gives some cautionary points about why visitors may not return after a first visit. Are you outwardly friendly as well as inwardly? Is your worship inspiring? How desperate are you for new members? - Remember you need to focus on why they came more than why you need them (smile). Do you have ministries that the new folks can engage in? - Or does it appear even with small numbers that you already have "enough" folks to get the jobs done?

Click here to read this short article!
How to be a Welcoming Church

John Risbridger, minister of Above Bar Church in Southampton, talks about how everyone in the church can create a welcoming atmosphere.
Additional Classes & Offerings!
Worship Leader
Sat. Sept 22, 2018 + two additional meetings
10 am – 4 pm
Diocesan program held at
St Paul’s Episcopal Church
200 W St Paul St
Brighton, MI

Is God calling you to lead worship? How can you best prepare as a worship leader with reverence, wisdom and confidence ? (OR - Has it been more than 3 years since your license was granted?)

Leading worship calls forth more than just reading and following directions. The Worship Leader class prepares you and encourages your heart to design, craft and lead with confidence the non-Eucharistic services of worship.

Course covers the preparation, wisdom, and confidence needed to lovingly lead God’s people in prayer. Part of your experience is to lead worship during the time between classes .

Instructor: the Rev. Dick Hamlin
for more information and to register.
Eucharistic Minister/
Lay Eucharistic Visitor Training
Sat. Oct. 13, 2018
9 am - 3 pm
Diocesan program held at
St Stephen's Episcopal Church
5500 N Adams Rd
Troy, MI

A Eucharistic Minister is a lay person authorized to administer the consecrated elements at a Celebration of Holy Eucharist. A Eucharistic Minister acts under the direction of a deacon, if any, or otherwise, the member of the clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the congregation or other community of faith.

A Lay Eucharistic Visitor is a lay person authorized to take the consecrated elements in a timely manner following a Celebration of Holy Eucharist to members of the congregation who, by reason of illness or infirmity, were unable to be present at the Celebration of the Eucharist. A Lay Eucharistic Visitor acts under the direction of a deacon, if any, or otherwise, the member of the clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the congregation or other community of faith.

For more information go to:

Fri. Oct 5, 6:30 pm - Sat. Oct 6, 4:00 pm
(for brochure with schedule click here)
Utica United Methodist Church
8650 Canal Road
Sterling Heights, MI 48314

Fantastic opportunity to participate locally in this Lombard Mennonite Peace Center offering on Healthy Congregations developed by Dr. Peter Steinke and based on the work of Dr. Edwin Friedman!

For more information contact Nancy McLaughlin
Advanced Renaissance

Saturday, Nov 10, 9am-4pm
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
309 S Jackson St, Jackson, MI 49201

This year’s workshop emphasizes the constant need to strengthen the foundations of our calling . We will explore specific ways to identify and nurture gifts in our midst, so that we can sustain and expand our capacity to spread the gospel. 

To register contact Canon Jim Gettel .

Did you know that Education for Ministry – also known as EfM - is being offered at home through reading, computer study, and phone calls? This is a great opportunity for those with limited time still seeking a quality educational and formational experience!

Education for ministry is a 4 year long program covering the Bible, Church History and Theology designed especially for Christians who want to deepen their knowledge to enhance their own ongoing ministries in their day-to-day context! Students enroll one year at a time.

The online version includes readings at home, internet based discussion boards which can be completed at any time, plus scheduled group phone meetings of 1.5 hours for prayer, catching up with each other and discussion topics! Several groups meet on different days and times to fit into your schedule.

From their website: "Every baptized person is called to ministry. EfM is a worldwide program developed by the School of Theology of the University of the South. It holds before us that the foundation for bringing Christ to the world lies in a Church empowered by an active, theologically articulate laity. All Christians need a Christian education which supports their faith and which prepares them to express that faith in daily life."

For more information and to view schedules CLICK HERE .
Technology Resources
Does your church website need some freshening up?
Contact Anna Schroen, EDOMI's Director of Communications at

For more assistance plan for Saturday, September 29, 2018 for the eFormation Bootcamp!
Click here for the registration page

Jesus said,
"I assure you
if you have faith as big as a mustard seed,
you can say to this hill,
'Go from here to there!' and it will go.
You could do anything!"  
(Matthew 17:20)
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