CFEM Staff Reports September 2009

CFEM Staff Reports: Sep. 2009

This is a bi-monthly report from the Commission for Emerging Mission in the Diocese of Olympia. We started our work just over a year ago under the commission of Bishop Greg Rickel and under the leadership of missioner Karen Ward. Our job is to help make sure that there are still Episcopalians 50 years from now. Our method is to organize and host events, workshops, etc. that educate the church for mission and present our particular Episcopalian 'public option' to those outside of the church, while also developing young and/or new leaders for the coming cultural reality. Mostly we're trying to (learn and teach others to) live Episcopalian lives with a hook - that is, lives that are both Anglican and oriented towards those outside of the church. I work part time for the Commission in a kind of catch-all role. Our website is here. Our most regular and accessible gathering is a Theology Pub that happens every two weeks here, and meets again on Tuesday, September 29 at 7 pm. Our goal is to invite Western Washington into a religious community worth belonging to.

Tim Mathis (CFEM Community Catalyst)

Following our last meeting was the first Stone Soup Young Adult retreat in Port Angeles, July 31 - Aug. 2, co-sponsored by the Commission for Youth and Young Adults. 12 people attended, including a mix of laity and clergy - 3 from the Peninsula and 9 from the Seattle Area. Cost was $0 for the Commission due to Kathy Hamilton's sponsorship. There was good feedback from the event, which combined social outings and spiritual practices, and plans/energy are in place for a similar retreat next year. There was some discussion of a purely social retreat during the winter months, as well as more intentionality around gathering at convention.

Following on that, space is reserved in the Hotel bar at Convention for a Theology Pub during the workshop session on Friday Night, to be facilitated by Jon Myers. Plans are also developing for a young adult dinner prior to the Theology Pub.

A CFEM Annual review was held on Monday, September 14 at the Blue Star in Wallingford. Karen Ward, Blaire Notrica, JR Lander, Jon Myers, Eliacin Rosario-Cruz and Tim Mathis were present. A list of action items for followup was developed based on an assessment of priorities and a review of events. The live document can be viewed here.

A finalized proposal for the Pioneer Mission project/local formation track was presented by Karen Ward to the Bishop, and has been forwarded to a working group on the COM for review. Kate Wesch has informed Jon Myers and Tim Mathis that a meeting is to be scheduled in the Fall with representatives from CFEM and the COM to discuss the project, and she is following up to get a date on the calendar.

Our next big project is the Many Voices One Song benefit concert to be held at St. Mark's on Friday, September 25. Action on CFEM's part would include helping to publicize the event for the final push next week. Volunteers are lined up and most of the organizing work is done. Followup should include an evaluation of this event and the development of a process for assessing ongoing community partnerships.

Convention events will also happen in Vancouver before our next meeting, on October 15-17, as will Art, Religion and Evolution: Why Do
We Create?" A conversation with UW Affiliate Professor Ellen
Dissanayake
on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at the Fremont Abbey, and Seizing the Episcopal Moment: Emerging Cultures and Anglican Futures workshop with Tom Sine and Barry Taylor will happen the day after, on Saturday, November 14.

Blaire Notrica (CFEM GLBT Liaison)

Since our July meeting I have shifted my focus to support
Community Catalyst Tim Mathis and diocesan staff. I attended the Stone Soup Retreat and supported Tim and
Kathy Hamilton. I have also
assisted Tim with preparations for Many Voices, One Song.

Beginning in August I have facilitated a Theology Pub series
on Sexuality. This is a three part
series scheduled to end on 17 September.
The series has been well attended and many people have been engaged in
very good discussions. There is
some value in discussing this as a model for Theology Pubs.

I plan to attend Diocesan Convention and support the
Commission with its presence there.

Karen M. Ward

Since our July 09 Commission meeting, I have completed the draft for the 'LOTP' (Local Ordination Training Proposal) for the Diocese of Olympia. The Proposal was worked on by local pioneers, aspirants and postulants who are eager for this program to exist, so they helped to shape the proposal to create it. The people involved in the creation of the LOTP are Tim Mathis, Jordan Rickard, Eliacin Rosario Cruz, Jon Myers, Alissa Newton, Kate Rickard and myself. The proposal was forwarded on to Bishop Rickel and is under consideration by the COM group the Bishop has assigned to work with it. We are excited to hear back from the COM on the next steps in turning the LOTP into a reality.

On August 6th, I attended a meeting at Seattle University along with other diocesan representatives (Bishop Rivera, Kathleen Patton and Sue Reid). The purpose of the meeting is to begin a reworking of the course requirements for Episcopal students from our diocese who are enrolled in the MDiv program at Seattle Universities School for Theology and Ministry. Dr Mark Taylor was also present as the Episcopal professor who teaches at Seattle U.

I have been working with Tim Mathis on the design for the November 14th event at the Fremont Abbey called 'Seizing The Episcopal Moment: Emerging Cultures and Anglican Futures.' The event will be held at the Fremont Abbey in Seattle, WA. It runs from 10 am to 4 pm with lunch included. We met with Dr. Tom Sine (one of the keynote presenters) to outline his contribution at the event. I have been in contact with Dr. Barry Taylor from Fuller Seminary who is our other keynote Presenter. Arrangements are being made to host him in Seattle for a three day period and he will also preach at Epiphany Parish on Sunday Nov 15th.

I am also working with a team from the Diocese of Oregon on an event for their diocese on January 30th 2010 with the same title but different presenters drawn from Oregon. This Portland event will be co-sponsored by COTA's Praxis Mission Center rather than CFEM, as CFEM does not operate outside our diocese and COTA Praxis does.

On August 1st, Tim and I were present at the Commission for Evangelism meeting. We gave an update of CFEM activities and talked about the joint Nov 14 event and brainstormed ways to cooperate with Evangelism in the 2010 program year in particular on my proposed 'DSM' (Diocesan School for Mission) launch.

Also in August I have been doing more conceptual thinking on my proposal for a DSM (Diocesan School for Mission) 'School' is a 3.5 day training event for parish teams composed of lay and clergy members. I have taught at similar courses in the UK (called Resource) and have created and led many diocesan events all around the nation and for other denominations on similar themes. The only difference is that now I seek to outline a multi-day 'set course' for 'basic mission training' as well as a second Pioneer Missioner course or 'track.' I am consulting with people in the Diocese of Oregon on the same. I am in contact with Tom Brackett (815 church planting) to garner his support for a prototype event in 2010. This may be in Oregon or our own diocese, depending.

Most recently I am doing conceptual thinking on a new series of 'Anglican Underground' events: A combination of Traditional Rite I BCP Vespers, a music Concert and Social with drinks and nibbles and aimed at postmodern Episcopalians in our diocese and any of their 'Anglican curious' friends. I have registered the web url 'anglicanunderground.org' and hope to schedule a first underground event in January 2010 at the Fremont Abbey. I was inspired to start this when reading about 'Catholic Underground' events that combine traditional Roman Catholic vespers or Compline and a music concert for young adults and other post-moderns.

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