Stirrings of the Spirit
Year 2/2014 Statement from the Leadership Team
The Stirrings of the Spirit Leadership Team is speaking from a position that allows possibilities to exist. We acknowledge that our posture in this initiative is one of trying to be open to being disturbed by the Spirit, of being vulnerable to the Spirit, of acknowledging the chaos, and of finding ways of inserting / bringing/ offering/ displaying the sacramental to the sacred outside of our Church. Our leadership in these “high heat” moments of change requires us to be confident yet to hold things loosely.
In this “New Advent,” “New Pentecost,” or “Great Emergence” happening in our Church and the societies in which we find ourselves, Stirrings of the Spirit calls us to grant greater freedom in particular areas in our Church in Vermont, areas which challenge us in worship, in ways to invite and support new spiritual communities to form, and in ways that we minister outside of our doors. To nurture and support spiritual health in our existing congregations and in new initiatives for ministry and mission that emerge will mean developing the generative structures that offer life and resources while not encircling the new expressions with “program” or “top-down” limits and expectations.
With this stance, the Stirrings Leadership Team will focus our efforts in this second year on developing the spiritual health of our congregations and seeking possibilities in mission and ministry beyond our doors.
Stirrings of the Spirit is a three-year strategy for the Episcopal Church in Vermont to discern where the Spirit is calling us through exploring new understandings and expressions of what it means to follow Jesus in a rapidly changing world.
Stirrings is all about creating exciting and innovative models of church:
- strengthened formation and development of lay leadership;
- new expressions of clergy leadership and partnership;
- experimentations, innovations, and new expressions within liturgy;
- exploration of the church’s role in the public square;
- enhanced understandings of what mission, outreach, discipleship, and baptismal ministry look like for Vermont Episcopalians in the 21st century.
The Church in Vermont will support our congregations with few, if any, limits
on how they want to do God’s work and carry out God’s mission.
Stirrings of the Spirit is about collaboration, partnership, “trying on” new ways of being and doing. Stirrings is about risk and faith, about realities and dreams, about ancient and new.
Support for Stirrings
Jimmie Sue Deppe, Episcopal Divinity School