by the Rev. Canon Susan Brown Snook, Canon for Church Growth and Development
Small churches are beautiful! As I’ve
traveled around the diocese visiting our smaller churches, I’ve seen many ways
in which our small churches are transforming lives. Some of the life
transformation happens because people in these churches love and take care of
each other; some happens because small churches can do ministry in their
communities in mighty ways.
Many of our small churches also ask
me: How can we grow? How can we become more vital, reach more young people, and
stabilize our situation so the church can survive for decades more?
That’s what our Hope for the Harvest: The Small Church at its Best event is all
about. Our diocese is co-sponsoring this event with the local ELCA Lutheran Synod in
five regional locations in our diocese on February 26th and March 9th. The conference
is about exploring your church’s special gifts; considering the needs, hopes
and dreams of your community; and discerning what kind of ministry God is
calling you to pursue.
For churches with ASA up to about 60
or so, this one-day workshop will enable clergy-lay teams to consider their own
ministries, share ideas with each other, and worship together with other Episcopalians
and Lutherans. We ask that you send a team from your church (we suggest at
least 3 people, but more are welcome!), who are prepared to engage with the
material. There is some advance preparation work to do: a Bible study that
considers mission; putting together information about one ministry or event
your church has done recently to share with others; and reviewing your church’s
demographics (which I will provide). Engaging in the advance preparation will
enable you and the others who attend to benefit most fully from your
You are welcome to register for
whichever of the regional events is most convenient for your schedule. Our
speaker, Carrie Boren Headington, will appear live at the event on February 26th, and
this presentation will be recorded for video presentation at the other events
on March 9th. There is a lot of interpersonal team work and discussion involved
at the event, so it’s way more than a presentation. It’s an opportunity for
your leadership team to consider how God is calling your church.
For more information or to register, click here!
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