Announcing the Canon for Vitality & Innovation
Beloved in Christ,
I am writing to share the joyful news that, after conducting an extensive national search, the Reverend Dr. Blair Pogue has accepted a call to serve as Canon for Vitality and Innovation for our diocese. In this new staff position, Blair will provide direct support to congregations of all sizes and contexts as they continue to cultivate vitality, discover new expressions of church, and develop new ways of engaging our neighbors with the good news of Jesus. She will keep an extensive visitation schedule, traveling the whole diocese as she preaches, teaches, and walks alongside congregations, and as she develops local and regional leaders who can further advance the work of vitality and innovation in every corner of Minnesota. She will officially begin on January 24.
Blair is a truly extraordinary priest, and one I believe is uniquely qualified for this work. For the past sixteen years, she has served as Rector of St. Matthew's in St. Paul, which has experienced remarkable spiritual revival and renewal during her tenure. Her time at St. Matthew's clearly demonstrates that she knows how to nurture congregational vitality and has the courage and creativity to lead a faith community in the ever-changing landscape around us. She previously served congregations in both rural and suburban contexts, and that background makes her a very good fit for our diverse diocese. She has written extensively in the areas of vitality and innovation during her ministry, has served as a coach in the Missional Leadership Cohort for Episcopal clergy at Luther seminary, and is widely recognized and consulted as a leader in the areas of vitality and innovation all over our church and ecumenically. Most importantly, she brings a deep and daily commitment to abiding in the person of Jesus, and a passion for reaching those outside the church's walls.
In accepting this call, Blair said: "I look forward to helping lay and ordained leaders in ECMN live more deeply into a network of shared learning and experimentation. My focus will be on deep listening, raising up and training regional leaders, facilitators, and coaches, and supporting grassroots networks so they can function as learning communities. I’m also excited about sharing spiritual practices to help people connect more deeply with God and their neighbors."
In taking on this role, Blair will become a critical member of our team, and will work closely with me, sharing many aspects of episcopal ministry. Please join me in congratulating Blair, welcoming her to this new role in ECMN, and praying for her, her husband Dwight Zscheile, and the people of St. Matthew's during this time of transition.
Grace and Peace,
The Right Reverend Craig Loya
Episcopal Church in Minnesota