Joining Jesus in a New Missional Age
“Traveling lightly together and following Jesus into the neighborhood." Luke 10
Joining Jesus in a New Missional Age (JJMA) is the missional experiment that ECCT launched in the fall of 2016. This two-year “try on” involves six parishes (one per Region) and the Tri-Town Missional Curacy in the NE Region.
In short, we’re putting our time, talent, and treasure into play with a group of six to eight laypeople from each parish who serve as a Parish Guiding Team (PGT). Over the course of 18-24 months, this team of laypeople, led by a lay coach, learn and practice five disciplines that help these individuals grow more closely to Jesus as individual disciples and as a group of disciples.
|Together, our teams are learning how to listen to God, each other, the parish, and the surrounding neighborhoods through prayer, observation, and conversation.|
|Discerning together, the PGT begins to ruminate about what the Spirit has revealed in these months of prayer and listening, eventually naming what the key impressions and understandings are.|
|With these impressions in mind — and over the course of nearly a year — the PGTs will try on several small experiments in the neighborhoods they’ve begun to more deeply engage. This is a way to test assumptions about what the team believes God has shared; and, it’s a way to discover more deeply where Jesus is at work changing the world around them.|
|Reflecting with the clergy and parish community, the PGT shares what it has learned and begins to tease out ways the larger community might be involved in the conversation, shaping the momentum, and exploring potential outcomes of what’s been learned.|
|And finally, deciding together, the parish or community engages life with God in the neighborhood in new and meaningful ways. This has the potential to expand into other PGTs, collaborate with nearby Episcopal parishes and worshiping communities, and quite possibly join God even more deeply in God’s mission to reconcile and restore the world.|
Throughout this process, there are other Learning Communities — the Coaches and Rectors central to the work of the PGTs; the ECCT Leadership Team, who receive the reports, interview participants, and report impressions and findings to the Bishops, Canons, and eventually Mission Council; the diocesan point person (the Rev. Canon Tim Hodapp and Tim’s counterparts in the four other participating dioceses: East Tennessee, Maine, Newark, and Southwestern Virginia,); and the bishops of the participating dioceses.
Consultants from The Missional Network are spearheading this missional experiment, and our diocesan consultant is the Rev. Dr. Allan Roxbourgh.
Together, we hope to understand God’s work in our parishes and worshipping communities at the deepest level possible and adjust our common life and resources to engage with these faith communities in new and substantive ways, always with a focus on traveling lightly together and following Jesus into the neighborhood (Luke 10).
Interested in more information? Contact Tim Hodapp.