What we hope to offer in this set of sixteen commitments is a vision of what it looks like for a congregation to thrive by being committed to discipleship, justice, innovation, and their own vital practice of love. None of it requires a congregation to have a big building, a big budget, or a paid staff. All of it is more about process than product: how we be together, rather than what we accomplish. We hope this vision gives you a good dose of clarity: what it means to be church is pretty simple. Not easy, but simple. … More A Church that Looks, Acts, and Loves like Jesus
Both the explicit curriculum and the unspoken values and culture of a congregation speak about what it means to be a follower of Jesus. In the perennial Christian argument between faith and works, Episcopalians have asserted that the two are not separate: they inform each other, as praying shapes believing, and vice versa. … More Showing up, Shaped by Jesus
Sometimes, if the well is dry and dusty, those small daily re-orientations toward God may not offer the kind of revival you’re looking for. In that case, abiding might look more involved: Setting time outside of your normal routine for a retreat. Or taking the plunge into counseling to address a thorny part of your emotional experience that Jesus keeps poking you about. Or trying a new experiment in the Way of Love, or finding something new to learn that will change your perspective or your approach. … More Thirsty?
There is no work more important in the church than what happens week by week in local congregations. The best way lay and ordained leaders can join in this critical work is by ongoing commitment to their own formation. … More Forming Disciples for Vital Congregations
“Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” This past Tuesday evening, just a few hours after the verdict was read in the trial of Derek Chauvin, a big bunch of Episcopalians gathered online for Compline. We were joined by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, whose words were predictably … More Good Shepherd Sunday
We moved to a gift economy, we removed the barrier of tuition along with the barrier of geographic meetings, and we found that enrollment AND income increased. … More What we’re learning from removing the tuition barrier
The best grounding practice for any kind of ministry is to take time to notice where you’re seeing the Holy Spirit at work. Doing this both as an individual and with the team you serve is a key grounding practice of discipleship — believing that this ministry is itself holy, and not just a stepping stone required for something else holy that someone else is doing. And then treating it like a key part of your spiritual practice, trusting that God is showing up where you are serving. … More Lay Leaders + Spiritual Infrastructure
Last week, I added my signature to this open letter asking Governor Walz to stop construction on the Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline. As many of you know, I have also attended and spoken at several demonstrations against construction of the line, led by our partners at MN Interfaith Power and Light. I signed the letter and spoke at … More What Does Love Look Like?
Practices, pacing, purpose – all of these are at the heart of what we seek to offer in the courses and workshops of the School for Formation. And perhaps in community in your congregation or in one of our courses you might find some new courage to say hello to darkness. As you look at the months ahead, these resources are available to you. If feeding your mind and learning in community with other Episcopalians feels like Good News to you, register now for one of our courses that begin in the new year. … More Pacing through winter
I spent part of this first weekend of Advent putting up a big, pink Christmas tree that Melissa picked out as a wonderfully playful addition to the mid-century modern look of our still new-to-us home. As a young priest, I embraced the role of the Advent curmudgeon with gusto and resisted Christmas creep with the … More The Invitation of Advent
Beloved in Christ, Since the time of the apostles, the Holy Eucharist has been the principal act of Christian worship, a fact that our tradition recovered in and through the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. It has become deeply ingrained in our spiritual lives and imagination as Episcopalians. I have heard from so many of … More A Theological Reflection on the Eucharist
Dear ones, On this day, when we are surrounded by uncertainty and anxiety, I invite you to remember that no matter what happens today and in the days to follow, three things simply cannot change: Jesus is LordLove winsDeath has died. No candidate who is elected to any office can save us, and, no matter … More Election Day Reflection
At Convention, Bishop Loya shared four priorities for ECMN’s life together in this moment. You can see the vision laid out here – he has invited our people and faith communities to attend to faithful innovation, justice, and vitality by leaning into discipleship. Discipleship, as in daily practices that help us follow Jesus as a whole way of life, as the … More Why Discipleship?
Beloved in Christ, Today is the feast of St. Michael and All Angels. Most of us, I suspect, don’t quite know what to make of angels. In scripture, they are present in many of the most important moments. They are usually terrifying, but they also represent the way human beings can be swept up into … More Swept Up
Bishop Craig Loya addressed ECMN on Saturday, September 26th as part of ECMN’s Online Convention. Bishop Loya is framing 4 priorities that will frame our collective work in the years to come: Discipleship, Innovation, Justice and Vitality. Watch the video below. You can find more information about these priorities, plus the video of this message … More Bishop’s Address
Check out Bishop Loya’s sermon, delivered online to the good people of Sts. Luke and James Episcopal Church in Minneapolis on September 20th, 2020.
The via media, the middle way, is not a political safety valve from the Way of Jesus. It’s a call to ongoing relationship at Jesus’ table with those who disagree while we live the Gospel, even and especially at the voting booth. … More The Politics of Jesus
The landscape we have been traveling through together these past many months is exceedingly complex. The constant disruption and shifting ground easily wears on us, and most of us are tired. In the midst of this complexity, I have found it helpful to remember that the Christian life is actually remarkably simple. We are called … More Rooted in Jesus
It is now impossible to miss the fact that another major election season has come fully into focus. (And, if you’ve been avoiding it, now is the time to make a voting plan! See below for resources to help you with that.) Like you, I am acutely aware of the fractious nature of this time … More Remember, Proclaim, Pray.
If worship by Zoom isn’t seeming to connect in your faith community or for your family, you have the opportunity to shift your practice of common prayer. Worship is discipleship—and, it might be a good time to let discipleship lead. Discipleship—daily practices that form us as followers of Jesus – is the primary work of the local church. You have permission to shift your practice and try a new experiment now. … More What are we learning from six months of online worship?