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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

Joining God in Shaping Our Future
July 19, 2016
In this podcast, Ginny Dinsmore, Suzanne Willian and Kay Lark – all intimately involved in the Joining God in Shaping Our Future process...
Eugene Foley, St. Stephen’s, Millburn
June 14, 2016
Being better neighbors was a consistent theme of the stories from the six congregations who came together at Episcopal House on Saturday, June 11...
The Core Practices
March 17, 2016
Listening isn’t easy – but if one persists, it does bear fruit. That was the consistent theme of the reports from the six congregations...
Members of congregations involved in the "Going Local" process
February 16, 2016
The Diocese of Newark has been awarded a 2016 Roanridge Trust Award grant to help support Going Local. The Trust received 26 different applications...
"Who is my neighbor?" 142nd Annual Convention
January 28, 2016
Nearly 500 clergy and lay leaders from congregations throughout the diocese will address the question Who is my neighbor? at the 142nd Annual...
Going Local: Cycle Two
March 23, 2015
Listening, wondering and exploring were concepts brought to the surface as the ground was prepared for the start of Going Local: Cycle Two. Going...
The Core Practices
February 18, 2015
One way to discover what God is up to in our communities is to join with others in Going Local. Going Local is a process through which we learn new...