So You Want to Facilitate the Mission Action Plan Process…

Creating a parish mission action plan is about intentional listening for the Spirit, prayer, engagement with parishioners, and a willingness to risk a bit. The plan, which is completed in four one-hour gatherings, is comprised of two to three initiatives in three areas: Adult Faith Formation, Changing Parish Culture, and Community Engagement. Leaders for each initiative arise from those passionate about the ideas. And once you’ve done the process once, you can easily repeat it when you’ve completed the initial projects.

The Rural Church: Fostering Relationships without Shortcuts

In “The Way” of Christ, how we go about fostering relationships, examining our intentions, and seeking God’s wisdom should resemble the goal that we strive towards. There are no short cuts, silver bullets or pre-packaged programs to save the day. Real community is formed by real relationships. Faith communities are just the same, but they are additionally flavoured by the expectation that God is actually a member of the community! Such a living faith seeks the promises of God in the everyday affairs and looks for their fruit. How do we lead others into this ancient way?

Christian Foundations II: Reformation and Transformation

People are also often confused about just what the actual foundations of our faith are. What does God want to show us and how do we conform to his “plan”? If we are to share in God’s mission for the world, then we need to have a firm idea of “the-story-so-far” and do our best to write ourselves into it—and help others to do the same!

Missional Preaching

How do we connect God’s mission, and therefore the mission of the church, with the culture in which we live and speak in ways that help people make sense of their lives and their purpose through the lens of the Gospel? How can our words as preachers help others follow Jesus’ Way of Love more closely? How can we equip people to share their transformed lives in a way that opens a generous door into faith and Christian community?

The Persistent Parish: Pursuing Missional Movement in Cozy Congregations

We do not have to look far to find churches that are no longer the thriving congregations they once were. This can cause us great heartache. We can feel discouraged by the declining church engagement we see around us, and many of us long to find those ways to “fix” what seems to be an inevitable decline. Perhaps, as we seek these “fixes,” we find ourselves reading about “missional” churches or expressions. We may be inspired by creative initiatives and church plants. We see the possibilities of these new missional opportunities.

Climate Justice: Following Jesus in a World of Climate Breakdown

The science is clear. We are living in a warming world due to fossil fuel emissions. The world’s most vulnerable are already suffering and it jeopardizes the well-being of future generations. This course will explore what it means to follow Jesus and live lives of justice within the context of climate breakdown.

Introduction to a Missional New Monasticism

New Monasticism might sound strange to those of us within the church because it conjures up images of people being overly pious and wearing medieval clothing. It does, however, very accurately describe when a community comes together intentionally to commit to a rhythm of daily life, to pray and meditate contemplatively, to be radically shaped by Christ, and to serve the surrounding neighbourhood.

Christian Foundations: From Abraham to Jesus

People are also often confused about just what the actual foundations of our faith are. What does God want to show us and how do we conform to his “plan”? If we are to share in God’s mission for the world, then we need to have a firm idea of “the-story-so-far” and do our best to write ourselves into it—and help others to do the same!

Reimagining Church

Are you frustrated by the decline in church attendance and ministry participation at your parish? Perhaps you’re hearing the buzz around terms like “missional church,” “discipleship,” and “fresh expressions,” but are baffled about what those mean or how they might relate to your own parish. Or perhaps you are simply curious about whether a new perspective might help you and your parish engage differently with the gospel and with parish ministry.

Adaptive Leadership in Anxious Times: Called to Lead When You Don’t Know Where You’re Going

In these unprecedented times, God continues to lead us in new challenges where the precedented ways of leadership are not always helpful. Yet, this changed and ever-changing world remains the object of God’s missional intentions. God’s Spirit continues to give us gifts for these ventures of faith.

We can join in God’s mission with confidence and hope. The Evangelical Lutheran Book of Worship offers this prayer for evening: “O God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us.”