Over the course of two weeks and three sessions, Quanita Roberson and Amy Howton, Becoming Beloved Community Coordinator, hosted nearly thirty lay and clergy leaders across our diocese who gathered to explore the Emerging Church. What is dying away and where is there new life growing? Where are we being called now in our becoming beloved community, as The Episcopal Church?
Content, including session recordings can be found below:
Session One: Opening
- Find the link to the deck used for our first session, here. It includes a brief overview of Becoming Beloved Community, emergent theory + living systems, and the structure of the group connections. Session recording is here.
Session Two: Naming
- We used the Two Loops Model, from Emergent Theory, to prompt reflection around where we are finding ourselves, our faith community, The Church right now. Find the summary of the Two Loops Model, here. Find the session recording, here.
Session Three: Noticing
- In this last session, we reflected on and discussed how we had experienced Christ Consciousness, the living church, through this process. What had we learned from this experienced? What had we noticed? Explore our noticings, here. Find the recording here.
Some reflections shared by participants:
“I deeply appreciate the reminder of the both-and-ness of the emerging church work, of the abundance we have. I can get to feeling lonely in ministry and this series helped me feel less lonely and more connected. I like how Emerging Church isn’t about finding a solution or answer, but reminder to stay curious, open, willing to learn and let go. It’s liberation is life-giving.”
“Churches need to be as engaged in cultivating authentic and just relationships with one another as we have been engaged with our liturgy. We need common ground in “God in our midst” rather than relying on the words of our faith. The words of our liturgy should inform our discourse not be a substitute for it. Said more plainly, churches need to be places of lively conversation, truth telling, exploration, and safe “places” to grow.”
“We need regular invitations to gather, learn, share perhaps every 3 months or so to help us see/connect with what is emerging. Also to provide encouragement/support for those who are called to witness to what is emerging in the church.”
Next, let’s…: “To start, supervised small groups within the parishes of those who participated with the aim of creating dialogue groups across the political spectrums in our churches. We need to safe spaces to learn how to have conversations with those who agree and disagree with us. To find our own voices on why we believe what we believe and how we were shaped by other voices in our lives. How do we need to find our own voices by listening to God rather than the opinions of others?”
“To become Beloved Community, we must dedicate ourselves to Christ and live in love with all our neighbors.”
“Yes, I am feeling called. I want to use my charisms to be a leader of God’s deep and abiding justice. I want to feel resonance in my priestly work that I am equipping disciples to heal and to be healers.”
Interested in participating in an opportunity aimed at holding space to discern and experience the Emerging Church? Reach out to Amy Howton, Becoming Beloved Community Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, the Commission on Ministry is re-imagining what lay ministry discernment looks like in our new circumstances. If interested, please contact Spencer Pugh, Chair of the Commission on Ministry email@example.com.