Ask any person who has the privilege of serving as a teacher, and they will tell you that they are learn the most when they are actually teaching. The reality is, whatever context we find ourselves in, each of us has the opportunity to be both a teacher and a learner. In fact, I am a big believer in the Montessori model, which embraces the fundamental belief that all are teachers and all are learners.
The Episcopal Church in Minnesota is a NETWORK of faith communities called to transformation by engaging God’s mission. Our foundational understanding of who we are as Episcopalians, as Anglicans, is our connection with each other: faith communities . . . Mission Areas . . . ECMN . . . the Episcopal Church . . . the Anglican Communion. We are a living organism connected by theology and geography.
This last weekend, at our Lay Leadership gathering, we were the embodiment of the ECMN, an embodiment of the network in which all are teachers and all are learners. Wardens, vestry, youth ministers, and other lay leaders all gathered to share lessons and best practices, to collectively solve challenges, and to appreciate successes. The energy in the ECMN Offices where this event took place was palpable!
For close to a year, a number of very talented ECMN folks did a deep dive, trying to determine how to enhance our capacity to be a network. The Discovery Process, as we referred to it, spent time with members of our Elected Bodies and other individuals from our Mission Areas uncovering potential strategies and methods that would help us gain and maintain connection with one another, that would help us teach each other and learn from each other. A significant next step that emerged from this process was the need to create a sustainable, accessible way of sharing and utilizing resources and data.
To that end, shortly, ECMN will be seeking a Missioner for Networking who will serve as curator and custodian of that information. Each of us, as individuals and faith communities, has something to share. Each of us has something to learn on this journey towards the Beloved Community.