A LETTER FROM BISHOP PAUL ERICKSON
Friends in Christ:
I am excited to tell you about this bold plan to renew our life together in mission.
I believe Christ is calling us in such a time as this to release a new and daring spirit of creativity and a new and deepening connection to each other—for the sake of the Gospel.
For many years we have been saying that we don’t know what the church of the future will need to look like, and that has become even more apparent in all of the events that unfolded in 2020. Despite our lack of knowing, there are some things we do know:
We know that the patterns and structures that have guided and sustained us for many decades are changing. In some cases, what worked well in the past has lost its effectiveness. In other cases, we are becoming more deeply aware that some things have never worked well for communities and congregations of color. As we respond to the critical issues of today, including the legacy of systemic racism, we must provide resources to equip leaders to learn, grow, and act in ways that build authentic community throughout Southeast Wisconsin.
We know that God’s mission for our world will continue, and God calls us to join in that redeeming work. People everywhere are still in need of communities of faith in which they can deepen their relationships with God, one another, and the world around them. Together we must overcome the cacophony which discourages and distracts from these relationships. We must share more broadly and more loudly our stories of hope and love and faith.
We know that future will require us to change as we adapt to a culture in which people will engage with ministry and the church in newer, non-traditional ways. We believe that God’s creative Spirit is calling us to explore innovative efforts to engage new generations, address long-standing inequities, and empower leaders for compassionate, vibrant service in a changing environment.
Committed to our new mission: “We follow Jesus, form communities, love all,” we aim to act on what we know by raising $2,300,000 to strengthen our work and reorganize our life together in ministry.
What follows is information about the Equipping the Saints mission appeal, which is our plan to listen, learn, and walk with ministry partners near and far, develop rostered ministers and lay leaders, and better empower the work of innovation and collaboration among congregations and ministries across our synod. It is a bold commitment to shape the Church for effective ministry for another generation. Thank you for joining us as we take steps together.
Bishop Paul Erickson
1212 S. Layton Blvd. | Milwaukee, WI 53215