God is love. Love as the manifestation of the wholeness or oneness of all of God’s creation. God is mission. Mission as the manifestation of God’s love. God’s mission, as we often refer to, is to reconcile and restore all of God’s creation to wholeness.
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself.” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)
To innovate is to imagine, to implement, and then to reimagine. God is always inviting us to use our gifts for God’s mission of reconciliation. “But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.” (1 Corinthians 12:31)
At their cores, partnerships are always about building capacity. None of us posses all the gifts needed. “For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us.” (Romans 12:4-5)
Missional Innovative Partnerships are an opportunity to imagine and team with others in engaging in God’s mission in greater ways than we can on our own. The great news is that across ECMN this is happening more and more every day. Faith communities are partnering with other faith communities, organizations, and institutions in their neighborhoods to engage God’s mission.
Episcopal Commons is one such example. St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, Episcopal Homes of Minnesota, and your ECMN Trustees are imagining a partnership whereby God’s mission can be engaged in the Loring Park neighborhood of Minneapolis. Imagine senior housing connected to the ECMN offices right next door to the Cathedral, and there are hopes of creating not only greater community between all three, but greater opportunities in this neighborhood. From the beginning, the partners began by engaging their neighbors in the conversation. Their feedback has been critical to the design of the building and future opportunities for the entire neighborhood.
This is an exciting opportunity. I appreciate the bold imagination and continual re-imagination that all partners have brought with their gifts to this Missional Innovative Partnership. As importantly, I am grateful for all those who already have stepped forward to support this incredible opportunity.
I would invite you to view the video and read about the project on the ECMN website to learn more about this Missional Innovative Partnership.