Report on ECMN’s 2013 Annual Convention
Engaging All God’s Children
Sept. 27-28, 2013, St. Paul, Minn. — Amanda Ziebell-Finley, Missioner for Mission, knew this convention was unlike any other when a woman approached her after one of the weekend’s breakout sessions, tears in her eyes.
“I am so proud to be Episcopalian today,” she said, “because finally the church is talking about what matters to me.”
For many, this year’s theme “Engaging All God’s Children” had a particular resonance.
The breakout sessions, using the Five Marks of Mission as a focus for engaging God’s children in their own neighborhoods, covered issues such as: immigration, the immediate needs of children, youth narratives, and advocacy.
These sessions came after a productive business session the night before and a worship service that morning — featuring a stirring sermon on protecting, nurturing, and treasuring God’s children from the Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens, Bishop Suffragan for the Diocese of Connecticut — who ministered to families after the terrible tragedy in New Town. The Children’s Defense Fund also offered a memorable presentation, explaining the state of children in Minnesota.
Young people were highly engaged in the 156th Convention this year: middle and high school students from all eight mission areas in ECMN gathered together for fellowship and worship. Highlights included officiating, reading and playing music at worship services, and a Flash Mob on the floor of Convention. The middle school community provided their hands and hearts to successfully create an Athens Marketplace for our youngest convention visitors.
New as well this year: Mission Opportunity 2014: Engaging God’s Children in Our Neighborhoods, a fresh approach to mission.
And, rounding out all of the sessions, breakouts, and worship: the Community Engagement Fair — a chance for faith communities to discover what organizations they might want to partner with in engaging All God’s Children. More than 30 organizations who serve children came from around the state to share their stories, their ideas, and their energy.
The convention, as always, drew many interesting people with unique stories to share. To meet some of them, visit our flickr set of portraits and stories.
For details on elections, milestones, and amendments passed, please download the full report on the 156th Annual Convention here.
Flash mob! View video.