They shall be like a tree planted by water,
sending out its roots by the stream.
It shall not fear when heat comes,
and its leaves shall stay green;
in the year of drought it is not anxious,
and it does not cease to bear fruit.- Jeremiah 17:8
The hopeful language of Jeremiah echoes the dreams–and growing edges–of the Diocese of Michigan. Planted, as we are, by the waters of the Great Lakes, we dream of a time when we are like those trees, firmly rooted in Christ, able to withstand the anxieties of an unknown future, while producing abundant fruit for God’s new creation.
Specifically, our hopes and dreams are found in the ongoing work of living out the Gospel in a changing world, as we deepen our roots and strengthen our body in order to spread new branches, including
New ways of doing church: Our diocese supports various models for ministry, yet societal changes demand that we further reimagine where the church is and what the church does. We seek to reach out to those who are alienated, unchurched, or searching for spiritual connection.
Formation for all: We value existing youth ministry programs and see further opportunities to create intergenerational ministries, reach out to young adults, and reinvigorate our campus ministry, as well as to learn the stories of our Anglican heritage and strengthen our ability to share the faith that lives in us.
Diversity and Inclusion: We celebrate diversity within our diocese and region, while we acknowledge our history of difficult relationships around race, geography, class, and education. We seek new ways to expand God’s loving work of healing and reconciliation to include more people.
Justice and Outreach ministries: Congregational and diocesan programs seek to address poverty, hunger, oppression and injustice. We are concerned about those on the margins–within our congregations and in our communities. We envision a diocese that witnesses passionately to God’s justice and compassion.
Opportunity to Connect and Support: In all these dreams and growing edges, we have a deep desire to be about the work of God together. Relationships among congregations and among our clergy, across geography and ministry setting, are both valued and an area for growth. We hope for a diocese that is close knit, so that we build each other up in love to spread the Gospel and heal the world.