Dear Colleagues in Ministry:
Read often and learn all you can. Let sleep steal upon you with a book in your hand, and let the sacred page catch your drooping head. –Jerome, letter to Eustochium, 384
Some years ago I remember hearing about something called a “Learning Community.” I was curious and wondered just what such a community would be like. And it seemed that for a time it became all the rage to talk about how business and industry were developing communities of learning where everyone, line workers and management alike, were working together to build a better product. By now most writers have moved on from such language and are focusing on different management issues. (During my vacation I started reading a book called, “Manage Your Day-To-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus & Sharpen Your Creative Mind”). We may not talk about learning communities like we did years ago but I think we still need to be about the work of developing communities of learning and discipleship in the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon today.
I hope that this short note, (emailed under the subject heading “Online with leadership”) can be one way to foster such a community throughout the diocese in the years to come. My intention is to send out a single email a week to the lay and clergy leaders of the diocese. In the note I will share a bit about what I have been doing and learning so that we might develop a dialogue about the Church in Western Oregon as we move forward in ministry together. I hope you will take the time to read it and that it is helpful to you as you minister in the church in your area. If you wish to comment publicly on the content, please use the website to do so.
What I have been doing this past month is being “On Vacation”. Marla and I did a bit of travel heading to the mountains and big trees in California for a few days. Then we came back home to work on the house. The home that Marla and I purchased over four years ago began life as a small single story home in the 1950’s. In the early 2000’s it was remodeled into a bigger two story home. The work done by the contractor was excellent; however, maintenance on the original home, done by the owners over the years was not done well so I spent a good deal of time fixing problems. Fortunately, I like that kind of work. I fixed leaks, added electrical boxes, removed wallpaper, and painted two rooms. All in all a great vacation!
In the church our work as leaders is often similar to what I experienced this last month. Occasionally we get to go up on the mountain but more often we are doing maintenance and fixing problems. I hope you like that kind of work – in the end there is a reward: faucets that do not leak, electrical boxes that keep us safe, beautiful rooms to live in. Vestry meetings that move forward the work of God in community, committees that tell the story of the gospel to newcomers, and ministry groups that feed the hungry and visit prisoners. It is a great life welcome to this fellowship of love and prayer.
The Episcopal Church also is working to provide resources to discover strong and vital ministry. I receive several good posts via Facebook that you might be interested in.
Here are a few links!