A place to share resources, events, stories of our lives together in mission.

As we learn more about how to be a diocesan network, you are invited to share stories of how your congregation is doing ministry as part of a network - either networks of members or with others outside in the wider community of region, diocese, national church, internationally. Then, keep discovering with us by responding to the stories of other Episcopal Churches in Minnesota.

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For now, our main involvement in a network is through the Mission Strategy Network and the yearly Diocesan Convention. We are looking to become more involved in the Theology and a Pint group.
Jill Schrader said:
For now, our main involvement in a network is through the Mission Strategy Network and the yearly Diocesan Convention. We are looking to become more involved in the Theology and a Pint group.

Jill, thanks for the info and I'm curious if you all would be thinking of joining the conversation at O"Gara's at Snelling and Selby in St. Paul? I just got a notice about the next one there and I'll forward it on to you in case you haven't seen it. I haven't gone to one yet, but that's on my list of things I want to do and places I want to be.

Anne Miner-Pearson
We at St. David's have been working in collaboration with other folks around the diocese for some time, mainly out of necessity. When you can't find what you need, you start looking for like-minded people that might have information or can share resources. Here are some examples: our wardens' participate in the Lay Leaders Network, both sharing and receiving information from other lay leaders on a variety of church business topics such as building use policies, employment compensation policies, etc. We have also worked together to lobby for change on specific issues such as ACG reform. On a staff level, our Minister of Children, Youth and Families has been in regular contact with other Episcopal Youth ministers a variety of topics, and we have joined forces for mission trips and activities for youth, as well as VBS. We also participate in a variety of outreach programs in collaboration with other parishes: Families Moving Forward, and Habitat for Humanity, just to name two of these.

At St. David's as we end our interim ministry and we are about to hire a new rector, we continue to ask ourselves just how organized do we want to be? We are moving in parallel to the diocesan change on the horizon. But our outreach has flourished as a result of our decentralized leadership style and structure, and the "organic nature" of how our ideas percolate in our parish culture. However, we have found that this can lead to burn out, lack of communication, and a not very welcoming atmosphere for newcomers, as the same people tend to be involved and call the same parishioners for help at the last minute. We call ourselves a Missional church, yet we have no centralized structure to sopport this and no named persons in charge of mission.

Personally, as a result of having participated in this networking and collaboration with fellow Episcopalians outside of our parish, my own sense of "Epicopalness" and awareness of our common faith has deepened my own spirituality.
Rena Turnham
St. David's
St. Luke's in Rochester is participating in several area and diocesan networks. On March 27 and March 28, St. Luke's will host the vernal equinox meeting of the Minnesota Episcopal Environmental Stewardship Commission (MEESC). We are also involved in the Region V Montgomery Migrant Ministry - now known as San Jose Obrero (St. Joseph the Worker). A number of parishes in Regions V and IV offer weekly Eucharist in Spanish, as well as a meal, to the migrant workers at the Seneca plant in Montgomery on Sunday afternoons during August and September. St. Luke's also has shared ministry with St. Peter's in Kasson, and will be hosting a joint Ash Wednesday evening service with Calvary and St. Peter's. Our Rector, Father Doug Sparks, is subdean of Region V, and our parishioner Richard Clugston is a member of the Trustees of the Diocese.
Hi from Holy Trinity in Luverne- we have had difficulty becoming (and feeling) part of a network because we are in the southwest corner of the bottom of the state and we have no priest. However, we are actually at an adventageous spot because the town to the north of us as well as to the east of us each had churches that closed in the last several years. Yet we cannot find the Episcopalians whom we know are "hiding in the woods!" We have discussed appealing to the church in Marshall as it is the closest-as usual, it is very hard for us to admit that we need help but we have to get over that NOW. We are thus happy to be part of Region 4 and we realize that often one has to invent some marketing to become part of a network. The Annual Convention is a huge help to us. Today we were told that the largest church in town, Grace Lutheran, prayed for Holy Trinity this morning-here is another type of networking that we are grateful for. Being so far from other churches, we would like to be in a hub but don't know how that would work in terms of distance. We are not giving up!
Blessings to everyone, Emily Lodine Overgaard, Senior Warden
St. Johns of course belongs to the usual diocesan and national church organizational structures. We also participate with varying degrees of intensity in programs of other organizations that might be termed "networking", both Anglican / Episcopal-associated:

  • African Friends in Need Network (http://www.afinnet.net)
  • Teens Encounter Christ
  • Episcopal Marriage Encounter
  • Cursillo
  • Episcopal Youth Music Camp

and outside the Episcopal Church, such as:

  • Habitat for Humanity (we work as part of a consortium of 5 churches in our annual October build)
  • the St. Paul Area Council of Churches
  • White Bear Lake Food Shelf

We also connect informally with other churches in the White Bear Lake -- in particular on social justice issues. Via the internet, our Adult Education website (http://www.StJohnAdultEd.org) posts adult formation resources we have developed and averages 850 visitors a day. The daily activities of our Youth mission trips have been shared with the rest of the congregation in a daily group on-line diary (for example the youth mission trip to Chicago this past summer: http://nerp.net/~rich/chicagomt08/). Our rector sends out a weekly "E-Bulletin" to the St. Johns church community via email.

To me, use of the word "network" conjures organic, "built-in" give and take, an ease of flowing out and reflecting back, a "Web 2.0" paradigm of communication and sharing. I have cited traditional organizational structures and "Web 1.0" paradigms of communication, but I wonder if they really rise to the use of the word "network" as envisaged in Goal #3.

David Monyak
St. John in the Wilderness, White Bear Lake
From Gunther Austin, Good Samaritan, Sauk Center:
Good Sam is with Little Falls an Paynesville . we had a gift discernment last Sunday with Paynesville . Gunther
Rena Turnham said:
We at St. David's have been working in collaboration with other folks around the diocese for some time, mainly out of necessity. When you can't find what you need, you start looking for like-minded people that might have information or can share resources. Here are some examples: our wardens' participate in the Lay Leaders Network, both sharing and receiving information from other lay leaders on a variety of church business topics such as building use policies, employment compensation policies, etc. We have also worked together to lobby for change on specific issues such as ACG reform. On a staff level, our Minister of Children, Youth and Families has been in regular contact with other Episcopal Youth ministers a variety of topics, and we have joined forces for mission trips and activities for youth, as well as VBS. We also participate in a variety of outreach programs in collaboration with other parishes: Families Moving Forward, and Habitat for Humanity, just to name two of these.

At St. David's as we end our interim ministry and we are about to hire a new rector, we continue to ask ourselves just how organized do we want to be? We are moving in parallel to the diocesan change on the horizon. But our outreach has flourished as a result of our decentralized leadership style and structure, and the "organic nature" of how our ideas percolate in our parish culture. However, we have found that this can lead to burn out, lack of communication, and a not very welcoming atmosphere for newcomers, as the same people tend to be involved and call the same parishioners for help at the last minute. We call ourselves a Missional church, yet we have no centralized structure to sopport this and no named persons in charge of mission.

Personally, as a result of having participated in this networking and collaboration with fellow Episcopalians outside of our parish, my own sense of "Epicopalness" and awareness of our common faith has deepened my own spirituality.
Rena Turnham
St. David's

Rena, first of all, I love your honestly admitting that St. David's turned to the creation of networks because you needed help - resources of people, ideas, structure that you couldn't or didn't do on your own. It matches many of my own personal "break-throughs" in life and I think that dynamic is present in a lot of the biblical stories. And finally, I am intrigued by your insight that as you and St. David's have gone beyond the congregation, you have experienced more of a sense of being an Episcopalian and touched more deeply into your own spirituality - talk about unexpected fruit and grace. Blessings and keep your comments coming!
Patricia Allen-Unger said:
St. Luke's in Rochester is participating in several area and diocesan networks. On March 27 and March 28, St. Luke's will host the vernal equinox meeting of the Minnesota Episcopal Environmental Stewardship Commission (MEESC). We are also involved in the Region V Montgomery Migrant Ministry - now known as San Jose Obrero (St. Joseph the Worker). A number of parishes in Regions V and IV offer weekly Eucharist in Spanish, as well as a meal, to the migrant workers at the Seneca plant in Montgomery on Sunday afternoons during August and September. St. Luke's also has shared ministry with St. Peter's in Kasson, and will be hosting a joint Ash Wednesday evening service with Calvary and St. Peter's. Our Rector, Father Doug Sparks, is subdean of Region V, and our parishioner Richard Clugston is a member of the Trustees of the Diocese.

Trish, having attended the MSN gathering with Region 5 meeting recently, I wasn't surprised to read through your list as I heard so many great stories that day about what' happening in both St. Luke's and St. Peter's - new energy, ideas, connections between the congregations and beyond. In fact, most of the stories from that region reveal a deep, varied and vital web of networks which are feeding dozens of people - Episcopalians and others, friends and strangers, near and far. I'd love to see a drawing of all the networks in Region 5 - what a beautiful mess of lines it would be. Blessings.
Emily Lodine Overgaard said:
Hi from Holy Trinity in Luverne- we have had difficulty becoming (and feeling) part of a network because we are in the southwest corner of the bottom of the state and we have no priest. However, we are actually at an adventageous spot because the town to the north of us as well as to the east of us each had churches that closed in the last several years. Yet we cannot find the Episcopalians whom we know are "hiding in the woods!" We have discussed appealing to the church in Marshall as it is the closest-as usual, it is very hard for us to admit that we need help but we have to get over that NOW. We are thus happy to be part of Region 4 and we realize that often one has to invent some marketing to become part of a network. The Annual Convention is a huge help to us. Today we were told that the largest church in town, Grace Lutheran, prayed for Holy Trinity this morning-here is another type of networking that we are grateful for. Being so far from other churches, we would like to be in a hub but don't know how that would work in terms of distance. We are not giving up!
Blessings to everyone, Emily Lodine Overgaard, Senior Warden
Emily, I think your words really cut to the center of both the hesitation and the excitement about our diocesean vision to be more together as a network. It really is a different way of acting, thinking, organizing and being faithful - scarey too. We all know well how to "live and more and have our being" (as the apostle Paul wrote) in a hierarchy. But he wrote that while creating a network of small churches who felt very isolated and distant from one another. He imagined those churches and their members as a body. I think of that when I read your comments. thanks.
David Monyak said:
St. Johns of course belongs to the usual diocesan and national church organizational structures. We also participate with varying degrees of intensity in programs of other organizations that might be termed "networking", both Anglican / Episcopal-associated:

  • African Friends in Need Network (http://www.afinnet.net)
  • Teens Encounter Christ
  • Episcopal Marriage Encounter
  • Cursillo
  • Episcopal Youth Music Camp

and outside the Episcopal Church, such as:

  • Habitat for Humanity (we work as part of a consortium of 5 churches in our annual October build)
  • the St. Paul Area Council of Churches
  • White Bear Lake Food Shelf

We also connect informally with other churches in the White Bear Lake -- in particular on social justice issues. Via the internet, our Adult Education website (http://www.StJohnAdultEd.org) posts adult formation resources we have developed and averages 850 visitors a day. The daily activities of our Youth mission trips have been shared with the rest of the congregation in a daily group on-line diary (for example the youth mission trip to Chicago this past summer: http://nerp.net/~rich/chicagomt08/). Our rector sends out a weekly "E-Bulletin" to the St. Johns church community via email.

To me, use of the word "network" conjures organic, "built-in" give and take, an ease of flowing out and reflecting back, a "Web 2.0" paradigm of communication and sharing. I have cited traditional organizational structures and "Web 1.0" paradigms of communication, but I wonder if they really rise to the use of the word "network" as envisaged in Goal #3.

David Monyak
St. John in the Wilderness, White Bear Lake
David, each time you have posted news about St. John's-in-the-Wilderness, I'm amazed at all the wonderful ministries going on there and also not amazed because that's who you all are there! However, what I particularly appreciate from this entry are your last words pointing to what would be a very fruitful conversation to have as a diocese. What would a "network" look like if it were more organic, able to give and take with an ease and generosity that emerges from its way of being? My initial guess at this time in our exploration of networks is that if we dare to push beyond what we think of networks now and how current networks operate, we might discover as the apostle Paul wrote, "a still more excellent way " of loving and serving as disciples of Jesus Christ. Blessings and thanks.
NEW! Region VII Website

Check out the new Region VII website at http://region7episcopalmn.ning.com. This is your one-stop gateway to events, liturgies, programs, fundraisers, and networking among the churches of Region VII. Become a member of the website and you can blog, post to the forum, add photos and events, and get to know all the churches in the region.

Why a Region VII website? Funding for the diocesan communications department has been sharply cut, causing the central calendar to be limited to diocesan and regional meetings. This meant that congregations no longer had access to the calendar to promote their events to the wider diocese. Staff members from St Paul’s on-the-Hill and St Mary’s (Laurel Avenue) partnered to create this new site, and a link to it will be embedded in the website of the Diocese of Minnesota. Other regions are considering doing something similar.

The website is one way Region VII churches are working towards goal #3 of the Mission Strategy Network plan: to develop the diocese as a living network by the end of 2009.

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