I guess spring is here…or is it summer? Well, whatever season we decide it feels like today, it was certainly lovely in Lansing last Saturday for Ministry Fair! The workshops were informative and inspiring – and it was wonderful to see friends from all around our Household! A big “thank you” to those of you who attended our workshop, “Here am I; Send Me.” And a special “thank you” to Cindy Corner and Lizzie Anderson for taking part in the presentation of some of our resolutions! As a follow-up, this week I’ll begin a two-week discussion of one of these resolutions because we can see our resolutions at work right here in our diocese:
A073: Establish Diocesan Mission Enterprise Zones
Resolved, That the 77th General Convention establish the Mission Enterprise Fund, to be administered by a grants committee for that purpose established by the Executive Council, with $1 million for the 2013–2015 triennium; and be it further Resolved, That Diocesan Standing Committees and Bishops partner to create “Mission Enterprise Zones,” defined as a geographic area, as a group of congregations or as an entire diocese committed to mission and evangelism that engages under-represented groups, including youth and young adults, people of color, poor and working-class people, people with a high-school diploma or less, and/or people with little or no church background or involvement; and be it further
Resolved, That a Diocese may apply for a matching grant of up to $20,000 from the Mission Enterprise Fund, to facilitate the development of the Mission Enterprise Zone; and be it further Resolved, That congregational leaders in Mission Enterprise Zones participate in trainings around anti-racism, cross-cultural community development, and ministry development and evangelism, in order to gain the skills to effectively build relationships with groups currently under-represented in The Episcopal Church but growing throughout our domestic mission field; and be it further
Resolved, That each Mission Enterprise Zone feature a strategic plan to start or redevelop a congregation that is intentionally multi-cultural, incorporating the presence and leadership of under-represented generations, socio-economic groups, races, ethnicities and/or languages; and be it further
Resolved, That for the period between the 77th and 78th General Conventions, these enterprise zones be created and be granted greater freedom as authorized by the Bishop in consultation with diocesan leadership regarding the designation of “congregation” status, traditional formation for and use of ordained leadership, and the use of authorized texts for principle worship gatherings; and be it further
Resolved, That diocesan leaders report to the Standing Commission on the Mission and Evangelism of The Episcopal Church the results of their efforts, including a description of the Mission Enterprise Zone and the process for creating the zone, the number and nature of new faith communities created, the number and demographic profiles of people associated with these communities, and the ministries established within the zone; and be it further
Resolved, That the Standing Commission on the Mission and Evangelism of The Episcopal Church compile and reflect on these accounts and use them to fulfill the request of the Executive Council to help the Church “create a canonical process to incorporate new faith community models into our existing structures” by the 78th General Convention; and be it further
Resolved, That the 77th General Convention request the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance consider a budget allocation of $1,000,000 to implement this resolution during the 2013–2015 triennium.
The diocese of Michigan applied for a matching grant to begin work responding to the increasing Latino population in our region. I was surprised to learn that Michigan is home to the 5th largest Latino population in the United States so this work is vital to our communities. The Rev. Marcia Ledford and the Rev. Deacon Juan Perez are the missioners of La Iglesia Detroit following the lead of the National Hispanic Missioner, the Rev. Anthony Guillen. At present, Marcia and Juan are exploring the community of Mexicantown to build relationships with the people. Since there is no physical location at present they took to the streets bringing Ashes-to-Go on Ash Wednesday and an Easter morning Eucharist. At Ministry Fair, Marcia and Juan presented a workshop so that we might learn how to form hospitable communities of faith that nourish, strengthen, and develop disciples of Christ in the Anglican tradition through the lens of Latino ministry.
But the work can’t stop in Detroit! Many of our rural communities are home to Latino farm workers and their families. They are our neighbors! Marcia and Juan are looking for others to share in this ministry, too. Here’s a helpful link to get started by reading The Episcopal Church’s Strategic vision for Latinos/Hispanics – http://www.episcopalchurch.org/sites/default/files/strategic_vision_7-09.pdf
And check out their Facebook page, too – https://www.facebook.com/IglesiaDetroit
Next week, we’ll discuss more of the specifics of La Iglesia Detroit so stay tuned for more about this important new ministry!
~Judith Schellhammer, chair, Resolution Review Committee, Diocesan Council