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Reflecting on T.R.E.C.

posted March 4, 2014

Written by Katie Forsyth

Over the month of February, Mike Spencer and I traveled to the different regions of the Diocese to facilitate focus group-like conversations on behalf of the Taskforce to Reimagine the Episcopal Church (TREC), a group charged by the 77th General Convention to create a plan for reforming the Church’s structures, governance, and administration. We had an average of twenty people at each conversation, people who took time out of their busy weeks, giving insight and opinion to the Taskforce making administrative recommendations for the larger church.

Participants Sharon Voelker, Drew Christiansen, and Bob Finn gather for conversation during the meeting at Holy Family, Midland.

Participants Sharon Voelker, Drew Christiansen, and Bob Finn gather for conversation during the meeting at Holy Family, Midland.

The questions in the meeting ranged from “what is your favorite memory of The Episcopal Church” to “what can you do to make change happen in the Church?”  My personal favorite to ask was, “What is one thing the Church should hold on to? What is one thing it should let go?” That was usually met with some groans and deep thought.

After talking with everyone and hearing the responses to the prompts, one thing became clear: the members of our Diocese have similar goals.

We want growing congregations that feel like family, that promote an environment of inclusion and genuine involvement in liturgy.

When asked what they would do to encourage change and growth, participants raised some familiar themes. Episcopalians need to hang out in places where ministry can happen – not just in their own buildings. We need to be vocal about our opposition to the Christian Right, currently flooding our airwaves with discriminatory and misleading messages about Christianity. We need to nurture the gifts of those around us to have a positive effect in our community. We need to remain open, try new things, embrace tradition, reject tradition, give time, give money, give voice…

There are so many things we can do as Episcopalians and members of The Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan. What are you doing for Christ? Let us know by posting on our Facebook Wall or tweeting to us at @DioEastMich. Thank you for joining in the conversation.

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For those who were unable to participate in-person but would still like to contribute to the conversation, visit www.reimagineTEC.org to view the questions and add your responses.