A Message from the Very Rev. Susan Daughtry

The Very Rev. Susan Daughtry

A Message from the Very Rev. Susan Daughtry

Dear friends, colleagues, and fellow travelers on the way of Jesus:

I write to today to tell that I have been called to Sts. Luke and James Episcopal Church, Minneapolis, as their rector. My time serving as ECMN’s Dean of Formation will conclude on September 9, 2022.

Since I stepped into this role in April 2014, I’ve gotten to walk with members and stakeholders in this diocese in a long journey of innovation and experimentation. The vision of ECMN’s School for Formation was to create a local academy for forming Christian leaders that would address some very complex challenges: How could we create pathways for those called to ordained leadership in our congregations, acknowledging the need many of our faith communities expressed for imagining new models of leadership beyond the full-time rector? How might we bring the wisdom of ‘missional theology’ to all our congregations, in a time when that learning wasn’t being widely taught in Episcopal seminaries? How could we bridge the wisdom of the Total Ministry movement with our more traditionally-structured congregations? How might we bring together lay leaders, deacons, and priests to build a more collaborative culture of leadership? How could we experiment into all those questions while still meeting the expectations of the canons for preparing ordained leaders?

It has been an honor and a privilege to serve ECMN and the School for Formation as we have sought, with bishops, the Commission on Ministry, the Standing Committee, and colleagues across the country and around the world, to enter courageously into those questions. I have brought my desire to help the church turn, over and over again, toward the way of Jesus. It has been a profound blessing to be a part of this creaky old church, alongside so many people of integrity and courage, as we sought to find new and faithful ways to say Yes to what God is doing among us. We can be proud of that faithful work, and we can turn again to ask how we are called as a diocese to say Yes to what the Holy Spirit is doing at this new juncture. I’m excited to see how, with Bishop Loya’s leadership, ECMN will bring that same spirit of innovation to leadership formation in the future.

I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to work closely with Bishop Loya as we’ve sought to imagine what vital congregations look like. Those conversations reawakened my own longing to be deeply involved in the life of a worshipping congregation. In their recent merger and their work of innovation in South Minneapolis, the folks at Sts. Luke and James have moved with creativity, playfulness, care, and discernment. Their journey over the past few years has been a holy movement, and I’m humbled by the chance to serve among these giants of faith as they chart their next steps as one congregation. I’ll begin serving as their rector in mid-October.

In this diocesan position, I have had the blessing of getting to walk alongside those offering themselves for Holy Orders, and so many beloved lay and clergy colleagues. I’m excited to continue with you now in a new role. I ask for your prayers in this time of transition, both for me and for your incredibly stalwart diocesan team, for the lay and clergy leaders at Sts. Luke and James, and above all for the guidance of the Holy Spirit for all of ECMN as we take our next steps.

Thanks be to God and to all of you for these blessings.