Joining Jesus in a New Missional Age
Letter, text below, from Bishop Ian T. Douglas in a "backgrounder" letter sent to parishes in January 2019. Full copy (PDF) here. Links inserted by editor for web version. See also media release emailed 1/14/19 link here
Related event: Invitation to parishes to learn more about the spiritual practices and option to request consideration as a participant in limited pilot project; Feb. 23, 2019 at The Commons, 8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m., more info and registration link here
Dear Companions in Christ,
The Episcopal Church in Connecticut has been on a journey to imagine how the Church must be transformed to participate more fully in God’s mission in these changing times. We have embraced changes to our common life and structures, including the establishment of Regions, the introduction of Region Missionaries, and the empowering of Ministry Networks. We have actively engaged in five spiritual practices (listening, discerning, trying on, reflecting, and deciding), and through this God is blessing us with new life and new possibility. We conducted a Region needs assessment, which allowed us to reflect deeply on what God is up to in our neighborhoods and where we might go next. And we still ask faithfully: How do we follow Jesus in this new missional age? I believe what we are considering is nothing less than a fundamental spiritual transformation of individuals and communities.
Supporting parishes and Regions eager to experience this spiritual transformation and join Jesus in a new missional age is a critical next step. We are continuing our partnerships with the consulting groups CCS and The Missional Network, to help us engage more deeply in the spiritual practices and raise new resources to more faithfully participate in God’s mission.
On the following pages you will find further information about participating in a pilot program, Joining Jesus in a New Missional Age, including ways to engage more deeply in the spiritual practices and details about conducting a fundraising initiative in your parish. As an extension of my invitation at the 2018 Annual Convention and to further assess interest in participation in these programs, I invite you to have a conversation with our friends at CCS and ECCT staff about how your parish might flourish with additional resources and the use of the spiritual practices, and to imagine what might be possible as a result. I pray that we will decide to continue to follow Jesus in this new missional age; and together, with courage and joy, proclaim the kingdom of God.
The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, Ph.D.