From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Episcopalians: Domestic Missionary Partnership explores mission in small places
Fri, 14 Feb 2003 14:06:53 -0500
February 14, 2003
Episcopalians: Domestic Missionary Partnership explores mission
in small places
by Dick Snyder
(ENS) Methods for promoting the Episcopal Church's mission in
small dioceses and small congregations were explored at the
annual meeting of the Domestic Missionary Partnership (DMP) in
early February in Burlingame, California. The meeting's theme
was "Mission in a Micro-Chip Culture: Being Small Doesn't Mean
You Can't Make a Difference."
The meeting discussed a recommendation of the 20/20 Strategy
Group to General Convention this summer, encouraging church
members to embrace "fully the stated mission of the church," and
to adopt strategies that will double participation in the life
of the church by the year 2020.
"It is really about mission," explained Bishop Katharine
Jefferts Schori of Nevada, a member of the Strategy Group who
led the discussion. She said that 20/20 "is a movement" with the
goal of encouraging church growth, recognizing and fostering
vitality within congregations. Its principles include enhancing
diversity within congregations while also stressing prayer,
biblical literacy, reflection and witness.
"Vital congregations may be any size," said the bishop.
Hallmark of leadership
The Rev. John Harmon, rector of Trinity Church in Washington,
D.C., said that the "hallmark of leadership is vision," the
ability to see "what is possible in this place." Small
congregations, as well as larger ones, can "make an impact in
transforming communities," he said.
DMP delegates heard about marketing techniques from the Rev.
Frank Hull of Arizona, who said that "you've got to use the
words that people will understand to get them in the door." He
added that "brand loyalty," individuals who would always attend
an Episcopal church no matter where they moved, is disappearing.
The delegates heard about reaching new church members through
the use of electronic evangelism--the use of interactive web
sites--from C.T. Fitzpatrick of explorefaith.org. A tour to the
technology museum in San Jose was also part of the agenda.
DMP delegates approved distribution funding for the Episcopal
Church's aided dioceses. Eastern Oregon was awarded $103,000;
Western Kansas received $55,000; Eau Claire received $41,000 in
budgetary support. In addition, a one-time grant of $12,800 was
approved to assist Western Kansas in hiring a part-time
assistant for the bishop to help with local congregations, and
Eau Claire received $8,000 for a campus ministry program.
Delegates decided to review their financial guidelines at next
year's meeting--including a requirement that churches in
dioceses that receive aid must pay 25 percent of their net
disposable income. Bishop William Gregg of Eastern Oregon said
that the financial review process "does not energize and
nurture" those dioceses. Bishop James Adams of Western Kansas
agreed, saying "We need some flexibility."
Bishop Keith Whitmore of Eau Claire was elected to a three-year
term as president of the group, replacing Miller.
DMP is comprised of 10 dioceses, all relatively small. Most of
them formerly belonged to Coalition 14, a group of small and
rural dioceses formed for ministry and mission development.
Member dioceses of DMP are El Camino Real, Navajoland, Spokane,
Western Kansas, Eastern Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Alaska, North
Dakota and Eau Claire.
--Dick Snyder is a free-lance church journalist from Nevada and
a seminarian at Church Divinity School of the Pacific.
Browse month . . .
Browse month (sort by Source) . . .
Advanced Search & Browse . . .