Organizing for mission in Minnesota

Over the last six months, in traveling 15,000 plus miles, meeting with all of our major stakeholders, including five combined regional gatherings and engaging in over 500 conversations with a significant number of our clergy and lay leaders, it is clear new life is emerging in the church.

Using the groundbreaking work of the Mission Strategy Network (MSN) as our primary source document, a vision is taking shape about how the Spirit is moving in our midst to engage God’s mission. This happens most effectively in our faith communities. So our goal must be to assist our faith communities in obtaining and sharing the resources they need so that they may engage God’s mission in their culture and context.

To this end, at last week’s Council meeting after months of prayer, study, reflection, and visioning, a way of being is emerging that may be most succinctly encompassed in the words Mission, Ministry, and Management.

Council has begun the work of reorganizing itself in the areas of Mission, Ministry and Management. The 2011 budget will also reflect these new descriptive categories. Likewise, working collaboratively with the personnel committee of Council, the staff is being reorganized to serve as missioners in these areas. You can download a pdf of the new staff organization and visit the staff page of our website for more details.

When you look at this reorganization, you will notice a few items right away.

As is the case with many reorganizations, a number of positions have been eliminated, including staff accountant, finance assistant, vocations coordinator and chief financial officer. Namely, this involves the departure of Tatyana Schukina, Phil Bukstein, the Rev. Gayle Marsh, and, in time, Jim Pavlik. Each of these individuals have brought unique and valuable gifts in their service with the Episcopal Church in Minnesota and I want to thank each of them for a job well done and wish them well in all things. I encourage you to thank them personally and to hold them in prayer during this transition.

In the reorganization, you will also notice that new positions are being created. These are specifically developed in response to the many conversations and needs that are arising across our state. Job descriptions for these positions will be posted and made available within the coming weeks.

I see so much energy among us for renewed mission in the Episcopal Church in Minnesota. My hope is that these changes will bring this new energy forward to serve the people of Minnesota in innovative and life-giving new ways.