In May and June of 2018, as part of our data gathering process, the Search and Nomination Committee held listening sessions in Troy, Grosse Pointe, Jackson, Detroit and Brighton. An additional listening session was held virtually using Zoom. Participants helped us create a portrait of who we have been in the past, who we are now, and who we would like to become.
Diversity & Inclusion
Listening session participants included race, ethnicity, income, education, gender, employment sector, sexual orientation, geographic setting, and more in their understanding of diversity. They celebrated this abundant diversity while understanding that this richness has a fraught history, most visibly with race and labor relations in our diocese. Attendees noted that much work has been done, and there is much work yet to do in the way of reconciliation, inclusion, and healing here.
Youth & Young Adults
While people of EDOMI value our existing programs, they acknowledge a passionate desire to reach more young adults, reinvigorate our campus ministry and congregational youth programs, and become more welcoming to youth and young adults.
Ecumenical & Interfaith Relationships
Being in full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) was often mentioned as a great joy! Many spoke with pride and gratitude about congregations that share space with other denominations and the many ways congregations and people in the diocese are building understanding and partnerships with people from other faith traditions.
Diverse Worship Traditions
Listening Session attendees were effusive in their love for the Anglican worship and yet still maintained their comfort with the broad spectrum of liturgical expression here in this diocese. From Rite One to Pub Ministry and the long walk between, we find our Episcopal brothers and sisters everywhere.
Evangelism & Church Growth
Many people identified a need for church growth and evangelism. Some suggested proactive engagement of seekers with new technology and social media, while others stressed connecting with the local community. Some participants identified a need to develop both infrastructure and skills to more effectively share the Gospel.
The Visible Bishop
Participants identified their ideal bishop as “visible”–accessible and pastoral. The bishop would be among the people. In fact, participants talked of developing deeper relationships between congregations and some felt the bishop might be instrumental supporting this.
The city of Detroit is the largest, though not the only, urban center encompassed by the Diocese of Michigan. It also comprises the state capital, rolling farmland, picturesque lakeshore, suburbs, fisheries and forests. Additionally, it is home to two Big 10 universities, both of which house diocesan chaplaincies, and several public and private colleges and universities.
Outreach & Social Justice
One of the top themes to emerge from our listening sessions is a commitment to outreach and social justice ministry. Listening Session attendees saw many opportunities to build on our existing efforts to work for justice and equity, to speak clearly in the public sphere, and to build partnerships.
Financial & Physical Stewardship
From congregations that face closure due to dwindling membership and financial resources to those who need assistance with repairs and capital improvements, we heard about a bishop who can lead us toward better stewardship of our physical resources. Many voiced a tension over balancing the needs of our current worship spaces and a desire to repurpose aging or underutilized buildings.