A project supported by the Lilly Foundation’s Thriving Congregations initiative
St. Luke’s was selected as one of the 15 Minneapolis congregations for the 2023-2025 Cohort. Over these two years six people: Leah DeShepper, currently President-Elect of St. Luke’s, Adult members, Kelsey Newby and Donna Tabat, Student Member, Sadie Cinnamon, and a Community Member, and Venessa Nelson who serves as President of St. Luke’s Preschool, and me will make up the team.
The Teams first experience will be a retreat with the other congregations on Friday, and Saturday, October 6 & 7. Please hold the team in your prayers as they give of their time on behalf of St. Luke’s and our surrounding neighborhood.
Here is a glimpse of what the team will be experiencing and inviting the congregation to participate.
“Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.” – Luke 10:25-28
Faith Practices & Neighboring Practices: Renewing Congregational Imagination is a two-year learning community for congregations in the Minneapolis Area Synod. We believe that vital congregations take seriously the small simple practices that build community, cultivate mutual relationships, and expand our awareness of God’s activity in the places where we have been called to live.
Faith Practices & Neighboring Practices guides cohorts of congregations through a learning process focused on collaborative learning, community building, and spiritual practice. Congregations experiment with practices in their own community to build authentic relationships with neighbors, connect across difference, and engage contemplative spirituality.
Practices are grounded in asset-based community development, intentional simplicity, and contemplative spiritual traditions. Each month, cohorts meet to process and support one another’s work, explore new practices, and build meaningful relationships.
The Center for Leadership & Neighborhood Engagement guides each learner through the Intercultural Development Inventory and assists in developing an individual and community plan for growing in intercultural competence. Additionally, the cohorts engage in a parallel learning process with the Riverside Innovation Hub at Augsburg University and other Thriving Congregations Initiatives in the Twin Cities.
We look forward to sharing more in the weeks and months ahead. I believe this was a Spirit calling as St. Luke’s has been seeking a Director of Community Engagement. God answered our prayers with this congregational opportunity, where not one but five people are willing to lead us. It is living out our mission statement:
St. Luke’s is a welcoming and growing community of faith, busy making Christ known to the world.