By Peter Gordon and Mary Sunden
Mission Strategy Committee Purpose:
Discover, promote and share “Best practices” in the development of our congregations’ missional identity involving four areas of mission, identified by the MSC team and Bishop Beckwith. “Missional” is a way of being church that can be expressed in many different forms, traditions, structures and sizes. It is about God’s people being sent, answering the call of God to engage in mission in the context, or neighborhoods, where they live. It is about seeing what God is up to in our neighborhoods and joining with God in that work.
The four areas of mission strategy focus: Helping Congregations to Claim Their Vision, Worship and Witness, Spiritual & Christian Formation, and Radical Hospitality and Gratitude are significantly connected and emerged from our Diocesan Mission and Vision Statements:
Equipping Congregations—by Helping Congregations to Claim Their Vision. "Living into God's abundant future" to embrace a theology of abundance, leaving behind a theology of scarcity.
Empowering People—through Worship and Witness Daring to bring God's altar into the world through "Worship that takes people's breath away and mystery that invites transformation;” and Spiritual & Christian Formation which is "Formed by a Rule of Life that resonates with God's promises," encouraging congregations to continue to adopt spiritual practices and to engage in a covenant of daily prayer and the use of traditional and modern resources to reinforce their prayer.
Engaging the World—through Radical Hospitality and Gratitude as we become missional churches, seeking out and daring to embrace the “Other,” inviting them in, listening to their stories, seeking to be transformed by their presence among us, so that we are all brought deeper into relationship with God.
- The Mission Strategy Committee will encourage missional church conversations and initiatives embracing these mission areas in a journey to discover, embrace and strengthen our missional identity as a Diocese to serve God and God's people in a more strategic and communal way.
- The Mission Strategy Committee will offer advice, information, and resources to the Bishop, Diocesan Council, and congregations in the shaping and carrying out of a diocesan missional strategy.
History of the Committee:
When we began our work in January we were formed as two subcommittees: Mission and Finance. The finance committee collected financial information that could help us better understand the diocese in terms of its mission, ministry, opportunities and challenges. We were pleased to receive information from half of our congregations and, as we were hoping, discovered a number of congregations that have dedicated significant amounts of resources to help them in their ministries. This reinforced our belief that our missional focus is right for this time.
Now that the work of the finance sub-committee is completed, the two subcommittees will be combined. A number of the members of the Finance subcommittee will continue as part of the now-combined committee.
What you can expect to experience:
- That we as a diocese engage in conversation with congregations to come to a mutual understanding of what mission and missional church means in our diocese.
- To move from a maintenance preoccupation to a mission/ministry focus.
- To help people in our congregations become powerful witnesses of God’s presence through their ministry and mission.
- To assist the people in our congregations by developing a deeper sense of God’s presence through their spiritual formation and practice.
- To take radical welcome and evangelism in our congregations earnestly and develop ways of living this out in our particular contexts.
- To appreciate that each congregation has a unique calling to ministry in its particular context and to work in ways that will give full expression to that calling.
Please look for:
- The book, Introducing the Missional Church: What It Is, Why It Matters, How to Become One by Roxburgh and Boren which is included in the registration package for each congregation.
- Diocesan wide “Missional Conversations” beginning in the fall designed to better understand the mission work and aspirations of our congregations.
Mission Strategy Committee
The Rev. Miguelina Howell, Co-Chair; Church of the Epiphany, Orange; The Rev. Joseph Harmon, Christ Church, East Orange; The Rev. Valerie Bailey Fischer, St. Mark’s, Teaneck; The Rev. Beth Sciano, All Saints, Millington; The Rev. Erik Soldwedel, Deacon; The Rev. Martie Metzler; Holy Innocents, West Orange; The Rev. Christine McCloud, Deacon; Mr. Peter Gordon, Co-Chair, St. Dunstan’s, Succasunna; Ms. Sue Morgan, All Saints, Glen Rock; Ms. Terry Perkins, Church of the Redeemer, Morristown; Ms. Sylvia Montero, Christ Church, Newton; Ms. Kathy Seabrook, St. Peter’s Church, Morristown; Ms. Barbara White, St. James Church, Hackettstown; Mr. Mike Odian, St. David’s Church, Kinnelon; Mr. Jim McGreevey, All Saints Church, Hoboken; Ms. Jen Conley, St. John’s Church, Boonton; Mr. Dall Forsythe, St. Luke’s Church, Montclair; Mr. Lyle Hatch, St. Clement’s Church, Hawthorne; Mr. Steve Koehler, Christ Church, Bloomfield/Glen Ridge; Mr. Ross Mangina, Grace Church, Madison; The Rev. John Mennell, Co-Chair; St. Luke’s Church, Montclair; Mr. Sievewright Rogers, Trinity & St. Philip’s Cathedral, Newark; Mr. Scott Sargent, St. Dunstan’s Church, Succasunna; Ms. Mary Sunden, Co-Chair; Grace Church, Westwood; Mr. Don Taylor; St. Elizabeth’s Church, Ridgewood
Ex Officio: Mr. Paul Shackford, Diocesan Staff; The Rt. Rev. Mark Beckwith, Bishop; The Rev. Canon Gregory Jacobs; Diocesan Staff