It truly is a gift to be a member of the family of faith, says Bishop Hughes. We grow more deeply in our faith, and our faith expands because of the people that we work with on this faith journey. And likewise, parishes need each other, as we've learned during the pandemic. That is why our upcoming Convention will focus on seeking together the vision of God for our particular church at this particular time. (Time: 3:31.)
This is Bishop Hughes in the Diocese of Newark. And I want to talk with you about community, and community as it is experienced in our churches. It is one of the gifts of being a member of a family of faith, that we don't do our faith on our own. We don't just say our prayers on our own, we don't grow as a Christian on our own. We don't worship on our own – we can do all of these things on our own, but as a member of a family of faith, as a member of the community, that we come together with other people for prayer, we come together with other people for worship, we grow more deeply in our faith, and our faith expands because of the people that we work with on this faith journey. It truly is a gift to be a member of the family of faith, because we are doing our faith with other people. We're experiencing it and growing into it, and moving into all kinds of ministries, along with other people.
This has been a very important and intentional step for us as a diocese. We had a belief that every church should exist on its own and be fine on its own, and we certainly learned in the pandemic years that we need each other. It's not just that we need each other as a parish, but we need each other as a diocese, that we can support each other. And we're doing that within our regions, these geographic designations, there are eight of them in our diocese. We're doing that within our regions, supporting each other in our ministries, coming together to do ministry together, checking in on each other, and asking each other how do we do ministry better? How do we do church today, so many things have changed. We've been doing this work together, because this is the future of the church: collaboration. It's not about what any one individual or with any one church or any one lay leader, or any one clergy person can do, it's what we can all do together.
This year at Convention, we're going to spend our time talking yet more about beginning anew, but especially this piece of beginning anew of seeking what it is God is trying to do in our church. Seeking the vision of God for our particular church at this particular time, and seeking that vision together. It's an interesting thing, God didn't create us to do our faith alone, God created us so that we could be together and support each other in the faith. And part of that work of faith right now is asking the question, as individuals, as parish, and as diocese, what is God calling us to do now? And the way we're doing that in the Diocese of Newark, is we are asking that question together. It is how we continue to begin anew. Again and again, day by day, week, by week, month, by month, year by year, that we seek God and we support each other and we do these things as faithful people, together.