Mission priorities in the Episcopal Church in Delaware
At our annual diocesan convention in November 2022, Bishop Brown announced “Renew ECD: A Blueprint for 2023-2027” to help guide and shape our common life in the Episcopal Church in Delaware. Among other things, the blueprint lays out the four mission priorities for our parishes, Arrowhead Camp and Retreat Center, and other ministries. The goal, over the next five years, is to stabilize and strengthen our diocese and to harness our energies toward growth—not to preserve our past but rather to expand the reach and impact of our proclamation of Christ Jesus.
Our mission priorities are:
- Growth. We commit to growing our church and bringing people to baptism. This is a commitment to invest our time and energies in evangelism — joyful invitation and robust welcome — to reach out to folks not in church and, ultimately, to invite them to the font. We cannot assume a parish will grow if it does not create and nurture dedicated growth ministries.
- Discipleship. We commit to deepening our personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The Christian journey takes a lifetime, and the church is dedicated to providing its members with the inspiration and means to connect with Jesus more deeply and to sustain this faith for the long haul. This focus on strengthening our spiritual lives is as essential for our existing members as it will be for those who join us in the years to come.
- Service. We commit to loving our neighbors as we love ourselves. The church embraces our gospel call to be living witnesses of Jesus’ healing and reconciling love to each other and to the world. This includes strengthening our commitments to racial justice and reconciliation, to helping the poor and feeding the hungry, ending violence and protecting the innocent, and to caring for our planet. We share this work with community organizations, ecumenical and interfaith partners, and anyone working to bring hope and new life to the world.
- One Church in Delaware. We commit to serving Jesus Christ as one church across Delaware. We know that our parishes and ministries are stronger when actively cooperating and supporting each other than when working alone. And when our parishes and ministries are stronger, our opportunities for effective growth, discipleship, and service soar.
Earlier this year, Bishop Brown reorganized the Mission Support Office in support of these priorities, and he expects the blueprint to shape future conversations around mission, budgets, and strategy.
Which of these priorities resonates most powerfully for you? In which areas could your personal ministry or the ministry of your parish be strengthened?