Pushing the Boundaries, Pulling Us Closer
Beloved in Christ,
One of the many small, great things about being Bishop of Minnesota is that I sit on the board of the Minnesota Council of Churches. This afternoon, I attended my first in-person meeting of that body. MCC is made up of twenty-seven different Christian denominations, representing the whole state. It's an extraordinarily diverse group, and as of this meeting, the majority of both the board and the staff are made up of individuals who identify as Black, brown, Indigenous, or as a person of color. We are diverse in our backgrounds, ministry sizes and contexts, and theological sensibilities, but all committed to living into the unity we are given through Jesus, in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Many of you will have seen that last year, we launched a major, ten-year process of racial truth telling and reparations. You can learn more about those efforts here. I'm both honored and proud to be a part of this work, and I look forward to our diocese being deeply engaged with it as it moves forward.
My own life and ministry have been enriched in every season by a number of close ecumenical and interfaith friendships. Our differences are often not without significance, of course, but we are always better when we are able to connect with one another across those differences of every kind. As I travel around our diocese, it is an utter delight to see the many, many ecumenical and interfaith partnerships our communities are a part of: we share buildings, come together to serve with the poor and marginalized, join in lifting our voices for justice, and generally live into Jesus' prayer that we all be one. Often, these partnerships are pushing the boundaries of our various traditions, and, at the same time, are pulling us all in a holier, godlier, and more loving direction.
I hope that at least some part of your life together as a faith community involves connecting with people of other faiths in your place. What's true of our connections within the diocese is also true within our wider contexts: we are always, always better, more faithful, and more loving together. Thanks be to God for the rich and beautiful ways in which God's love and holiness manifest among God's people, and for the way we always find our deepest and truest identity in one another.
Grace and peace,
The Right Reverend Craig Loya
Episcopal Church in Minnesota