If We Make Disciples, There Will Always Be a Church
Beloved in Christ,
I believe that what the world and the church need more than anything are people whose minds are so molded by the wisdom of God, whose spirits are so saturated with the spirit of God, and whose hearts are so tethered to the love of God, that everything they do renders a sense of God’s goodness, loving kindness, and peace in the world.
Formation is shaping hearts, spirits, and minds in this Godward direction, and it is the specific way we make disciples who will make disciples of Jesus. For many decades now, the church has tended to fixate on maintaining or repairing the institutional structures of the church as we’ve inherited them, at the expense of our core work of forming individuals and communities who will be ambassadors of the love and holiness of God in the world.
If we are to meet the challenges we’ll face together in the coming years, it will be because we have renewed our commitment, at both the congregational and diocesan levels, to the core work of making disciples.
Because formation is so foundational to everything we do, I have asked the Rev. Susan Daughtry to assume a new role as Dean for Formation for the Episcopal Church in Minnesota. In this role, Dean Daughtry will continue to lead the School for Formation, as she has done with excellence since 2014, and also serve as an adviser, coach, and companion to congregations and diocesan discipleship and formation initiatives.
During her tenure, we have successfully implemented a diocesan school that is well-equipped to form lay and ordained leaders for a variety of ministries, but we know that we need to turn our attention as well to building resources and initiatives that can support faith community leaders in doing the important work of formation in local contexts. Susan’s gifts are uniquely suited to supporting this work, and I’m grateful for her willingness to accept this new direction for her ministry.
Please join me in congratulating Susan on her new role, and pray that God might continue to pour out God’s spirit on all of us, that we might become bread for the world, to God’s unending praise and glory.
Grace and Peace,
The Right Reverend Craig Loya
Episcopal Church in Minnesota