I grew up like a lot of kids filling my days playing a variety of sports. I was also in scouts, band and numerous other clubs. I also began working at a very early age on farms, in local stores and even at a hospital. And as many of you know, I was very connected to my small Episcopal church. All of this involvement instilled a deep value for community and being a part of a team.
If you have attended a Mission Area Gathering or been present when I have visited your faith community you have heard me refer to the team of Missioners. This is in contrast to what is often referred to as “the Bishop’s staff”. More that mere word smithing, this is an intentional shift in focus. I often describe it this way, “I don’t need a staff as much as the Episcopal Church in Minnesota could use a team of Missioners to support them in engaging God’s mission in their context and culture.”
As we continue to emerge as a network of faith communities sharing our best practices and collaborating on God’s mission, working together as a team at all levels is critical. The role of the Missioner team is to provide both support and assistance in resource sharing and collaboration in and across our faith communities. In reality, they are a team of team builders. And already a number of examples are surfacing from youth ministry to stewardship, from communication strategies to mission engagement. Folks are coming together to enhance both their own use of their gifts for ministry and others.
Adding to the already great depth of your team of Missioners are two new members, Haddayr Copley-Woods, our new Missioner for Communication and Jennifer Gamberg, Missioner for Finance. Information about these very accomplished individuals can be found on the website. As you will discover, both their competency and their desire to bring their gifts to assist our faith communities in engaging God’s mission will be great assets to all of us.
Like many of us I learned first hand very early in life the absolute truth of the the statement, “Many hands make for light work.” As we continue to collaborate and share our best resources across our faith communities, the stronger our faith communities will become to engage God’s mission in our own context and cultures.