From the Bishop’s Desk: Ministry Themes for 2021

Sabbath, Cultural Competency, and Transformational Leadership

Watch Bishop Ortiz’s Announcement on YouTube by clicking below.

In November of 2019, the synod staff and council were lead by the Spirit to construct the following mission statement for our synod:

By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we are called to cultivate a bold and boundless love for Jesus and for all God’s beloved creation.

As we pursue this mission together, we have, and aim to: 

  • Equip and develop healthy leaders
  • Empower and nurture vibrant ministries
  • Encourage and model faithful accompaniment

In alignment with the mission and priorities, we recognize the opportunity for us to be church together not only in theory and theology, but also in practice.

The year 2020 taught us, and confirmed, much of the challenges we face as church leaders and disciples of Christ. 

We learned that keeping the Sabbath is likely the only commandment we don’t feel bad to break. We work and work and forget that we serve, and have been created by a God who rests. If God can rest, so can we. 

We confirmed that we know very little about one another and especially about those who look and speak differently than we do. I believe we are being drawn by the Spirit to change that by working to develop our cultural competency. Maybe once we get to know each other better we’ll be able to live into our mission statement most fully and love one another boldly and boundlessly. 

Finally, we learned that we can no longer afford to engage in maintenance ministry. We cannot continue to do as we’ve done, simply to maintain a semblance of continuity and stability. The world needs us to be transformed transformers. Our context, community, and country need us to explore, experiment, and engage in intentional and transformational ministries. The time to do things the same way, because we’ve always done so, has come and gone. This is a new day in life and ministry and we have each been anointed by the Holy Spirit for such a time as this- of this I am certain. 

As we begin year 2021, all tables and teams of the synod (of which there are fifteen and can be found on our website) will use what we’ve learned and structure their work around these 3 themes: Sabbath, Cultural Competency, and Transformational Leadership

Each ministry will focus on one or more themes throughout the year – allowing for continuity of mission across all ministries that are designed and co-created for the synod as a whole.

You will see upcoming events, trainings, resources and tools developed by our synod ministries. Each of these will be developed with you in mind. We want you to use these resources and co-create your own for the sake of all our growth, wholeness, and witness in the world. 

My prayer is that we dare lean into this invitation without hesitation; that we lean into the power of collective ministry and alignment of vision and mission; and that we take the time together this year to listen, learn, and lead with God’s help and in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Bishop Leila M. Ortiz

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