1. What is the mission of the congregation? How should it be structured to serve its mission?
2. What is the mission of the Diocese? How should it be structured to serve its mission?
3. What is the mission of the (Domestic and Foreign) Mission Society (of the Protestant Episcopal Church of America) or whatever you currently insist on calling it? How should it be structured to serve its mission?
Here are the responses:
Linda Mizwiki blogged, “What is a congregation? It’s where sh*t gets real”
A congregation is the in-breath and out-breath of the church. It is where the mundane becomes the sacred. It is God’s money laundering service, taking our junk, our baggage, our brokenness, our pride, and turns it into service, mashing it around together, and churning out love for the world. It is where our shi*t gets real. It is where we learn to love each other, and to love ourselves, even when we seem unloveable.
Steve Pankey blogged, “What is a Congregation?”
I can’t answer “What is the mission of the congregation?” without first thinking about the mission of my congregation. Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church in Foley, Alabama is part of God’s mission, as the Catechism says, “to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ” (BCP, 855). We do that in a very particular way because Christianity, especially Anglican Christianity, is very much an incarnational religion. Our work is specific to the particularities of who we are and where we are.
Tom Lutes blogged, “What Is a Congregation? Or, Let Me Show You Some Shapes.”
I’m not much for structuring action plans, but there are two powerful images that, for me, inform how a congregation can engage with God’s mission. One describes how we are a community of believers, united by our baptismal vows, and the other is what I call “parish respiration.”
Adam Trambley blogged, “Episcopal Congregations: What? Why? How?”
Adam Trambley at the Black Giraffe looks at the definition and mission of many Episcopal congregations today and suggests a change of focus.
Andrew Amanda Leigh-Bullard blogged, “Congregations: Christian Community 101”
Congregations provide the training ground for one of the central tenants of Christian belief, that of prayerful community. Through reflection on the missions of various congregations a sense of the MISSION of a congregation is revealed. Rooted in a Eucharistic understanding of belonging, and an awe-filled appreciation for their oddity, congregations provide the perfect place to examine what it means to be Christian together.
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