With Memorial Day weekend coming up, and with it the unofficial beginning of summer, we find ourselves coming to the end of ECMN’s 2018-19 program year. In June, both your Missioners and the Meeting of Elected Bodies (Council, Trustees, Commission on Ministry, Standing Committee) will gather to review their work over the last year and to continue planning the 2019-20 program year. Our Mission Opportunity theme for this upcoming program year will be Engaging God’s Mission of the Beloved Community by Living the Way of Love.
Here are some highlights to look forward to in our 2019-2020 Program Year:
Our 2019-20 Program Year begins with ECMN’s Convention, which will be a great time to come together and fully live into our identity as a network of faith communities called to transformation by engaging God’s mission. We are also fortunate in September to host the House of Bishops and their spouses as well as the Faith and Addiction Conference here in Minnesota.
We will have the first Meeting of Elected Bodies (MEB) for the new program year. It is at this meeting that these bodies collaborate and construct their goals for the program year. October will also bring together our retired clergy, spouses and surviving spouses for their twice yearly worship, lunch, and program. The third weekend of October will be Spirit-filled, as we will have our fourth MNTEC!
In preparation for the Advent and Christmas season, November brings the opportunity for our clergy to gather for a Pre-Advent Retreat. Our ECMN middle schoolers will also gather for their Spirit-filled retreat, Pre-TEC.
In December your Missioners will gather for a day-long retreat to preview the first quarter of the program year and to prepare for a very full January.
The new year will begin with a bang: folks from across ECMN will get an opportunity to meet the candidates for the 10th Bishop as they crisscross the great state of Minnesota for the Walkabout. Led by the Spirit, on January 25th, ECMN will elect its 10th Bishop! We will also have our second MEB of the program year to continue our work.
Every February, after most of ECMN’s faith communities have held their Annual Meetings, a cross-section of leaders will gather for Lay Leadership Day. This is a great opportunity for networking and sharing of best practices. In February, in preparation for the Lent and Easter season, our clergy will gather for a Pre-Lent retreat.
Our elected bodies will gather for the third MEB of the program year to collaborate and update each other on their individual and common work. March will also bring the opportunity for those who work in a Team Ministry context to gather for the Team Ministry Resource Day.
In the beginning of April, the Bishop-Elect will arrive and start the on-boarding process. The months of April and May will provide the Bishop-Elect the opportunity for them to get to know ECMN through a wide variety of introductions and experiences. There will be four gatherings for the clergy, which include the Renewal of Vows, Deacon Retreat, Retired Clergy luncheon, and Clergy Conference. There will be four Mission Area Gatherings (MAGs) during the month of April, which will be a great chance for the Bishop-Elect to experience ECMN in its varied contexts. There will be a day-long Missioner Retreat for the Missioners and the Bishop-Elect as they begin to imagine their collective work together. MNTEC 5 will be yet another opportunity for the Bishop-Elect to experience the awesomeness of ECMN’s young people. And if that’s not enough fun, we will also have Confirmation at the Cathedral where the Bishop-Elect can witness one of the great privileges of their impending ministry.
In May there will be three more MAGs, continuing the opportunity for the Bishop-Elect to experience ECMN in its varied context. Pre-TEC takes place in May, providing the Bishop-Elect the chance to spend more time with ECMN’s young people. May will also be a time for the Bishop-Elect to spend time with ECMN’s affiliates. This time will include meeting individually with the leadership and onsite visits, including observing their future role at baccalaureate and commencement at both of our schools.
On the 6th day of June, ECMN will enter into its next chapter of being the Episcopal Church in Minnesota with the Ordination and Consecration of the X Bishop of Minnesota!
As you can see, our 2019-2020 Program Year is going to be filled with exciting opportunities and possibilities for ECMN both presently and into the next chapter where God is calling us. The Spirit always leads forward! I could not be more excited about being a part of it all and for what the future holds for ECMN.