Christian hope is loving hope, it is courageous hope. In Jesus, God’s love has been poured into our hearts, and it is God’s love that we are giving to the world. At the beginning of her episcopacy, Bishop Susan began to enact the vision of courageous love for each other and our communities. This work began by comprising a diocesan strategic plan in 2019. Not long after the completion of this plan, the world was brought to a halt as we addressed the COVID-19 pandemic. Even as we addressed the myriad challenges this brought, the diocese courageously hoped that we could begin to move towards the aspirations set forth in this plan. The world may look different now, but the message of the gospel is unchangeable. Animated by the good news of Jesus Christ, the Diocese intends to be a growing, diverse, worshiping community of Jesus Christ’s followers, courageously sharing God’s transforming love in our neighborhoods and beyond.
Directed by diocesan leadership, the Courageous Love fund will support the efforts of our strategic plan to strengthen congregations, serve our neighbors, and grow the church.
To become a growing, diverse worshipping community of Jesus’ followers, the diocese will continue to invest in the faith of future generations and cultivate strong lay and ordained leadership. We will do this by strengthening children/youth formation and lay-leadership development throughout the diocese, ensure sabbatical availability, and debt-free formation for all clergy.
Serving Our Neighbors
To love our neighbors as Jesus instructed us to, we must know them. That is why we are providing resources for our congregations to engage the communities around our places of worship. What we have learned is that no matter the political persuasion, housing is something everyone in the four counties we serve cares about and is daily aware of its challenges. We alone cannot solve this problem, but we can contribute by developing housing on underutilized property for our neighbors, our clergy, immigrants, refugees, and others.
Growing The Church
If our neighbors are no longer coming towards the Church, it is time that we go to our neighbors. The diocese will continue to strengthen evangelism and invitation practices, reach out to those not yet a part of our tradition—such as college students, new immigrants, service persons, etc., revitalize struggling congregations and establish new churches.