God is building us into a spiritual house

“…you also,  like LIVING STONES, are being built into a spiritual house”
1 Peter2:5

Living Stones is a partnership of dioceses and communities of faith engaged in Christian mission, committed to the ministry of all baptized  – The Living Stones Partnership

This week I have had the blessing of gathering with small groups from around the Episcopal Church to share and strategize about particular missional engagements  in each of our own contexts and cultures.

Presented as case studies it was a great opportunity to reflect on a specific issue or project with groups from other parts of the country. And in turn to listen, discuss, engage in deep theological thinking, and then offer our own perspective to colleagues from another neighborhood of God’s kingdom.

The attendees represent all orders of the church – laity, bishops, priests, and deacons. The focus is to assist in discerning, equipping and empowering all the baptized so that they may use their gifts for ministry.  Many, but not all, come from places with a significant number of faith communities  that are engaged in total/shared/mutual/baptismal ministries.  A fair number have a large rural population but there are also major urban areas represented as well.  Then to round out the partnership there are a numbers of our Episcopal seminaries represented.

Sandi Holmberg, our Missioner for Total and Shared Ministry, and Gretchen Pickeral, one of our Total Ministry mentors,  were present, and took the lead in preparing our presentation on moving to Mission Areas.  Sandi’s years of experience in the Episcopal Church in Minnesota and Gretchen’s “on-the-ground” perspective painted a great picture of some of our Living Stones.

God is unquestionably building us into a spiritual house. It is great to have partners and collaborators to lend a hand and to do likewise for them.

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