What does the church look like when it goes out into the community and gathers in non-traditional places, connecting with people who might not feel comfortable in a traditional setting? If you have an interest in exploring this question, consider learning more about missional communities. There are two events coming up in April at Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS), and another event in May in the Diocese of Texas.
Missional Voices Gathering: April 21-22 at VTS
Alan Bentrup, one of the co-founders of Missional Voices, is inviting people from as many dioceses as possible to collaborate and share ideas at the 2017 Missional Voices National Gathering April 21-22 at Virginia Theological Seminary:
The 2017 Missional Voices National Gathering brings together church leaders, seminarians, church planters, entrepreneurs, artists, and everyday innovators to discuss innovative ministries and missional communities both within and outside of the traditional church context.
Missional Voices is a weekend of thinking, planning, and dreaming about the future ministry in The Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion. It is a place where dynamic incubation of new ideas is the norm – not the exception – and where people doing uncommon ministry find support and encouragement.
Andy Doyle and Becca Stevens keynote the 2017 gathering, with additional talks by Nancy Frausto, Tim & Kirsten Baer, and Tamara Plummer. The weekend also includes panel discussions featuring theologians, diocesan missioners, and parish clergy. Learn more about the speakers.
Genesis Gathering: April 20 at VTS
The Genesis Gathering will convene one day before the Missional Voices gathering, on April 20. It’s not a training event but rather is designed for those who are exploring missional ministry as a possibility and for those already creating such communities. Registration is $50, and the registration fee is waived for current grant recipients. The deadline to register is April 7. Register online here.
4Saints Episcopal Food Pantry’s grant from The Episcopal Church was to support the four churches in the Fort Worth East Deanery in creating this ministry as a type of Mission Enterprise Zone. The goal is not just that people receive food, but that community forms as we connect with our neighbors.
The grant for St. Francis’ restart also came through the same initiative for supporting church planting and innovative ways of ‘doing church.’
Cultivate Conference: May 5-7 at Camp Allen
Several dioceses have been exploring ways to create community centered around loving God and neighbors that are outside the traditional settings of churches. For example, the Diocese of Texas has put a big emphasis on these ideas in recent ideas, creating resources for trying out these kinds of initiatives. A conference set for May 5-7, “Cultivate,” will further explore missional communities. Registration is limited for this event, held at Camp Allen in Navasota.