Missional Lab

Become an apprentice of five Spiritual Practices of this new missional age and invite others to join you in these practices within your own context.

The Spiritual Practices of the new missional age:

  • Listen
  • Discern
  • Experiment
  • Reflect
  • Decide

The pandemic of COVID-19 and confronting the sins of racism, white supremacy, and anti-black bias impacts all of us in profound ways. As followers of the way of Jesus — to live our baptismal covenant — it is clear that God has not abandoned us. God continues, as God always does, to break into our present lives in ways that restore and reconcile us to God and each other in Christ. How do we participate in God’s incarnate love? In God’s Beloved Community?

The Missional Lab invites lay and ordained Christians to learn simple, centuries old and time-tried spiritual practices to help the disciple learn how to notice what God invites them to pay attention to (as disciples) and to join Jesus in the work of God’s reign that is happening all around us (as apostles).

This course centers the lab participant in a community of practice, to learn and live the simple ways of getting to know God better in scripture and, through mutual storytelling, share how God is showing up in the participant’s life. Then, as a community of practice, to stretch out into the practitioner’s unique context (parish, institution, neighborhood, community gathered from the four points of the globe) and develop their own community of practitioners, gathering regularly with the original core group of lab participants to share how God is moving through our lives as we continue to practice together by reflecting on the stories of our various teams.

This course has two parts:

November 2 – December 21, 2020 | Part I: Learning the Practices with the Lab Community

Weekly 90-minute zoom calls [Day of week / Time — info forthcoming!]

Be trained in the experience and practice of the five spiritual practices of joining God in a new Missional Age. After we’ve tried on the work ourselves, we’ll begin to imagine who we might call to join us in the journey. By the end of this course, each participant will understand and experience the five practices and how these deepen the disciple’s ability to pay attention to what God’s inviting them to see and, in community, discern God’s invitation. In addition, the participant will have developed the skills to discern who in their unique context might be a co-journeyer in the next course, when the disciples become apostles and teach the practices to a handful of others.

January 18 – March 8, 2021 | Part II: Living the Practices with Others in Your Context

Bi-weekly gatherings with those you’ve invited to join you in learning the practices; and bi-weekly gatherings with your community of practice from Part I, to share learnings, ask questions, and reflect on the work that has happened the week before.

What do I need to participate?

  • A good internet connection and a device that can share your voice and video via Zoom.
  • A desire to engage Christian practices that may be new to you
  • A commitment to joining in at the times noted above

This ‘course,’ as you can see, isn’t about reading and writing – it’s about being present to God’s movement in our lives, sharing those stories, and listening to each other. We believe this is in fact a key part of our baptized life.

Who should sign up for this experience? Anyone in ECMN, lay and ordained, who is ready to be part of a community of shared spiritual practice and to take responsibility for gathering others in similar formats for a specific period of time.

Instructor: The Rev. Tim Hodapp, Canon for Mission Collaboration, Episcopal Church in Connecticut

Recommended Reading List:

  1. Joining God, Remaking Church, Changing the World: The New Shape of the Church in Our Time by Alan Roxburgh
  2. Incarnational Mission: Being With the World by Samuel Wells
  3. Quietly Courageous by Gil Rendle

What previous participants said:

“The Lab did two things for me that were really helpful. It raised relevant/challenging questions about the mission of our faith communities – what it can/should be; and it provided lots of practical, doable ideas for how to help our communities live that mission. I find myself applying the insights I gained all the time in small and big ways.”

-The Rev. Larry Bussey

“Missional Leadership Lab is the right balance of reading and practice for any person who seeks a deeper experience of being church in the world. The readings, online discussions and the experiments from month to month helped me connect tradition and theology with real practical applications in real time. I learned how to read scripture closely, share the Good News with others, walk with others in community, and envision church in new ways. I learned again that I was a disciple of Jesus who called me to follow him in the Way.”

– The Rev. John Sullivan