God at work in Southeastern MN!
Beloved in Christ,
I’m spending this week in residence in the Southeast Mission Area, and I’m committed to doing this each year in a mission area outside of the metro region. I’m making official visitations to six congregations, spending a day on retreat with area clergy, and today I even took a tour of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Several members of the diocesan staff, as well as Archdeacon Chip Whitacre, are also here this week, either joining me for visitations or making their own.
This very full week has been an inestimable gift to me. Not only because the Mississippi and Root River Valleys, and the whole Driftless area, are so stunningly beautiful as fall colors start to pop, but because each day brings fresh, and refreshing, encounters with the way God is at work in the people and communities who make up this part of our diocese. I’ve worshipped with a congregation of fewer than ten who are going door to door to meet and come to know their neighbors better. I was formally welcomed and seated in the Episcopal Church’s oldest cathedral. I’ve seen the way a joyfully chaotic baptism stands as a sign of healing and renewal for a family in a beautiful small town church. This morning I got my own tour of Mayo, with one of our churches providing an incredible ministry of prayer and welcome right at the doorstep of a health center that receives people from all over the world every day. And I still have two more days to go!
There is nothing more important or holy in the economy of God than what happens in each of our faith communities every day. Small and large, urban and rural, dotting every stunning and beautiful corner of Minnesota. You may often feel weary, it all may at times feel small, or unimportant, or tedious, but what you all are doing together with God matters so much. We’ve come through two impossibly hard years, and while we are changed in ways we’ll continue to unpack for years to come, God continues to show up in new ways, offering to renew and refresh us for the journey to come. This week is but the tiniest glimpse of the unspeakable gift and joy we continue to be given in one another.
Grace and peace,
The Right Reverend Craig Loya