The Heart of the Universe is Relationship
"So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling-place for God." (Ephesians 2:19-22)
Beloved in Christ,
To confess God as Trinity is to confess that the very heart of the universe is a relationship. To claim that each of us bears the image of such a God is to claim that we are made for connection and relationship. None of us exists on our own. Our deepest and truest identity can only be found in the way the people in our lives mold, shape, challenge, and complete us. That's why we need the church. Our relationship with God cannot be separated from our connections with one another. We can only know God truly and fully in community.
That spiritual and theological truth is why the basic unit of the Christian church is the diocese. We are not 104 different churches in Minnesota. We are one church that exists in 104 locations, and has 104 different expressions. The connective tissue the holds us together isn't just a matter of practical expedience, it's a spiritual necessity. We can only be fully who God calls us to be if we are regularly encountering, embracing, and challenging one another. Connecting across all our diversity and difference makes us stronger and more faithful.
Our diocese consists of seven smaller mission areas, regional clusters of faith communities. We've established a pattern of meeting twice per year as mission areas, to learn together, to share stories of what God is up to in our contexts, and to discern how the Spirit might be calling us forward. Last month, we had a particularly rich and meaningful time together in the southern mission area gathering, and I'm looking forward to several more of these gatherings over the next month. Our Spring gatherings this year consist primarily of hearing from the Reverend Canon Blair Pogue, Canon for Vitality and Innovation, about a new initiative to help congregations in our diocese discover new life and know the Spirit's presence and power in fresh ways. There will also be plenty of time to share about what is happening in your congregation, and to support one another in our joys and challenges. You can find your mission area gathering date and a registration link below, or at the website events calendar. Every Minnesota Episcopalian is welcome, and I very much hope you'll consider joining us.
Grace and peace,
The Right Reverend Craig Loya
Episcopal Church in Minnesota