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Congregational Journey

The Core Practices

Questions about the Congregational Journey? Email the Rev. Deacon Deborah R. Drake and Merica Gellerman, Conveners.

How do we go on a journey together to discern what God is up to in our neighborhoods and join God there?

This is the core question of our journey together as a diocese and the primary focus for the congregational journey. Simply put, on this journey the “goal” is to discern what God is up in our neighborhoods – all the places where we work, play, live and worship – and join God in that work. Along the way, we deepen our relationship with God, one another, and our neighbors and learn new habits, values, attitudes, and practices.

The Congregational Journey is led by the laity. Congregations journey together with other congregations in a Cohort. Each congregation is guided on the journey by a small lay team called a Guiding Team. Each Guiding Team is assigned a Companion to travel along for support and encouragement.

You are invited to step onto this path of discernment – to join with other congregations in sharing stories of God’s presence, and participating in the transformation of lives for the sake of God’s mission.

Going Local and Listening Excursions

Since March 2014, congregations have journeyed together in Going Local. In March 2017, the first practice on the journey, Listening, was introduced in the form of a three month “Listening Excursion.” After this initial period of exploration, congregations move together on the Going Local journey. A narrative introduction to the journey of joining God in the neighborhood (Going Local) can be found here.

Dispatches from the Journey

The Way of Love
February 18, 2019
After years of Going Local, many congregations in the Diocese of Newark are now engaging in Living Local: listening, praying, reflecting on scripture...
Going Local leads to local farmers market
January 22, 2019
St. Andrew’s, Harrington Park has been a Going Local congregation since the beginning, nearly five years ago. A team of five parishioners began...
Merica Gellerman and the Rev. Deacon Deborah R. Drake.
December 18, 2018
After the departure of the Rev. Ginny Dinsmore and Suzanne Willian in September, the Rev. Deacon Deborah R. Drake and Merica Gellerman, both long-...
A men's small group at St. Michael's, Wayne.
November 29, 2018
In October, St. Michael’s began a nine-week study of the Nine Fruits of the Spirit using the core practices of our diocesan Going Local journey...
Bishop Carlye addresses the October Going Local workshop. JULIE CRAWFORD PHOTO
November 2, 2018
The Congregational Team of Going Local held a workshop on October 20 at Church of the Messiah in Chester. People from various congregations attended...
Gathering shares stories from the Journey of challenges and hope - JANE JUBILEE PHOTO
March 6, 2018
Perseverance, courage, and hope in the face of challenges was the theme of the “Stories from the Journey Continued” gathering held on...
“I've talked to people that I never would have talked to before. And it's been amazing.”   Ginger McArthur,  St. Peter’s Church, Livingston
April 18, 2017
Ginger McArthur was part of the team that got St. Peter’s, Livingston started in the Going Local process in March 2015, but by that summer she...
Listening Excursion attendees Dwelling in the Word. NINA NICHOLSON PHOTO
March 14, 2017
On Saturday, March 4, 125 individuals representing 43 congregations attended the kick-off gathering for the three-month “Listening Excursion...
Author Barbara Djimopoulos and other members of the Harrington Park "Going Local" guiding team stand in front of their Dream Board at the October 1 meeting. L-r: Paul Shackford, Barbara Djimopoulos, Coach Deborah Drake, Kathy Ferdinand and Cathie Ruppi. NINA NICHOLSON PHOTO
October 31, 2016
Acting on a promise made at Diocesan Convention, last June four teams of clergy and lay leaders developed innovative experiments to help the diocese...
R-l: Action Learning Team Coaches Peter Jackson, Paul Bolles-Beaven and Valyrie Laedlein talk with Suzanne Willian and Alan Roxburgh. NINA NICHOLSON PHOTO
August 16, 2016
The Diocese of Newark is blessed with a talented group of coaches who are also great leaders. They are guiding diocesan teams towards joining God in...