Formed in February of 2008, the EMDT (Episcopal Ministry Discernment Team) has been meeting on a regular basis (barring one blizzard) and will offer updates as they produce them.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Congregational Feedback - distilled

What we have heard from the Diocese
A compilation of congregational conversations on episcopal ministry

As members of the Episcopal Ministry Discernment Team (EMDT), we have spent time at our first four meetings seeking to consider carefully the results of the congregational conversations that took place throughout the diocese in January and February. We deeply value the work of each congregational gathering at which a variety of voices were heard, and not all voices were in agreement. The following summary, finalized at our meeting on May 17, 2008, distills the essence of what we learned about who we are and what we value as a diocese, our diocesan vision of episcopal ministry, and what we need to do as a diocese to make this vision a reality.

Who we are
We live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, an area of beauty and challenge
• Geographically large with small communities
• Challenging distances and weather
• Economically and financially limited
• Declining and aging population

We are a small diocese of small congregations
• Champions of Mutual Ministry
• A sense of connection within the diocese and with the wider church
• A history of relaxed relationships with our bishops
• Limited resources: members and finances
• High level of involvement
• We have a pioneering, creative, persevering, can-do spirit
• Independent, interdependent
• We are grieving economic, historic and personal losses

What we value
• A sense of family on the congregational, regional and diocesan level
• Ministry founded on the Baptismal Covenant
• Outreach
• Inclusiveness
• Relationships
• Shared leadership
• Education and formation
• Youth participation
• Open communion table
• We respect the gifts and talents of all

Our vision of episcopal ministry
We have a vision of a shared episcopate modeled upon Mutual Ministry in which the Bishop’s primary focus is pastoral, relational and canonical in full partnership with an Episcopal Ministry Support Team.

To make our vision happen
• We will continue to build on the organizational structures that are in place to support the life and ministry of the diocese.
• We will identify an Episcopal Ministry Support Team that includes the Bishop.
• We will make greater use of technology to facilitate communication.
• We will strive to increase an understanding of Mutual Ministry throughout the diocese.
• We will be realistic and responsible about our finances.
• We will determine what an Episcopal Ministry Support Team may do.

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