Flew up to MSP Tuesday December 11th in the afternoon for a quick gathering of the synod leaders of the six ELCA synods (NT-NL, SE Pennsylvania, New Jersey, South Carolina, SW Minnesota, and Western North Dakota) who are participating in the Luther Seminary Leadership for Faithful Innovation learning cohort. Pastor Jeffery Bergeron (New Life in Christ, Duncanville) is our synod contact for this work outside my staff.
Five NT-NL Synod, ELCA congregations are participating in this work that will last three years which we are almost one year in. It involves taking seriously the adaptive challenges our leaders and communities face and looking for shared learning to address that work. The synod leaders meet to learn how best to facilitate this process as well as discuss the adaptive challenges they see in their synods. Despite our differences in context we find there are many areas of shared challenge and opportunity.The first gathering of our congregational leaders happened this fall and will continue in January at Briarwood Retreat Center. These congregational leaders will then develop teams in their congregation that will do more work in the coming year. The hope is that once completed we will have a new way of working together to outline, address, and work to solve the learning leadership needs in our midst.
To stimulate thinking met outside the seminary at the new downtown YMCA in Minneapolis. An example of an institution making a bold step to be in the midst of the city as well as providing space for gathering (it also means we can take the easy light rail connection from airport to downtown, which happened to go by US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, the home of the 2021 ELCA Youth Gathering).