Next cycle pending.
The Diocese of Fond du Lac is offers the Faithful Innovations process to congregations. It is an opportunity to learn together about how to engage the challenges and changes of the 21st century. In a supportive and structured peer learning environment, congregation members and leaders develop deeper connections with God, each other, and their neighbors through the introduction of practices of action reflection involving listening, discernment, and small experiments. Leaders may take risks as they discover a more hopeful future together.
The process centers around teams of 5-8 lay people from congregations who gather for three daylong trainings over a 9-12 month period. In the time in between, coaches walk alongside the local church teams, accompanying them in their work. The three gatherings focus on:
A more complete explanation of each gathering may be found here.
Participating congregations implement the process with the support of trained coaches. Four diocesan leaders have been trained and will be training local coaches to work with congregations. Identifying strong coaching candidates is imperative to the faithful innovation process. To learn more about identifying someone who might be a good coach (including you!), click here.
Trainers to train coaches are the Rt. Rev. Matt Gunter, the Very Rev. Patrick Perkins, the Rev. Jane Johnson and Cathy Cowling. If you have specific questions, contact Cathy Cowling.
In Spring 2018, author and speaker Dwight Zscheile presented at the diocesan Spring Conference. In Fall 2018, the Diocese of Fond du Lac, with a generous gift from Intercession, Stevens Point, committed to a program of fostering faithful innovations in our congregations using the Faithful Innovations process.
Six congregation who began this process learned it is a challenging and sometimes uncomfortable journey. Through the three Saturday trainings in a nine-month cycle, members of each congregation’s guiding team learned practices to listen to God in their local contexts through dwelling in Scripture together, sharing faith stories, and noticing through fresh eyes where God might be at work in their neighborhoods. This deep listening invites discernment of the movement of God and the development of simple experiments to make connections. The final stage in the process is to reflect on what has been learned and to articulate new questions that begin the action reflection cycle again. As such, Faithful Innovations is not a program but spiritual practices that can affect all levels of congregational life and ministry.