After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
Luke 10:1-2, NRSV
How about them Nats?!!! Whether or not you’re a baseball fan, the story of the Washington Nationals quest to become the MLB’s 2019 World Series Champions is compelling. The Nationals started out the season poorly, and as Nationals Manager Dave Martinez said in his post-game interview, “Guess what? We stayed in the fight. We won the fight! …We were down and out. We were 19-31. We didn’t quit then, we weren’t going to quit now.”
As a die-hard sports fan, and a native Washingtonian, I’ve been longing for some championship teams for some time. Yet, in 2018 and 2019, our blessings were abundant. The Capitals winning the Stanley Cup last year, the Mystics winning the WNBA Championship earlier this month, and the Nationals winning the World Series last night just fills my sports junkie heart with joy, and I dare say, joy abounds in the DMV today.
But, as a die-hard cheerleader for the Diocese of Washington, I can’t help but wonder how we can translate that winning, never-quit attitude to our efforts to spread the love of Jesus and build up the Body of Christ in our diocese.
The Diocesan Strategic Plan was approved in early October, after months of meeting with faithful people of God all across the Diocese.
From these efforts, we identified three areas of focus for our collective work over the next five years:
Revitalize our churches to grow the Jesus Movement
Inspire every person to grow in faith & equip our leaders to lead well
Partner in ministries of service & justice for greater impact in our communities
We then chose three specific measurable objectives to accomplish in the first 12 months of Strategic Plan implementation, one under each area of focus.
Those objectives are:
Church Revitalization — We will provide church health assessments and revitalization strategies, and introduce these strategies to ten representative congregations.
Spiritual Formation — We will establish a school for Christian leadership.
Justice — We will work with each region to identify a primary ministry of justice on which to collaborate for greater social impact.
As Jesus appointed the 70 to go out, we are seeking “champions,” people passionate about Church Revitalization, Spiritual Formation or Justice and willing to invest their time, talent and expertise in tilling the soil of our potential so that we may harvest the bounty we believe God has in store for the diocese. To that end, we have started putting together leadership teams of lay and ordained people who can help us advance in our first three ministry objectives.
If you are excited about our Diocesan initiatives, and are fired up by our mission, “To draw people to Jesus and embody his love for the world by equipping faith communities, promoting spiritual growth, and striving for justice,” we’d like to talk with you further about serving on one of our teams of champions and we invite you to complete this brief online form by November 30.
We plan to announce and commission these Strategic Plan leadership teams at Diocesan Convention, January 25, 2020.
We are excited about what God has in store for the Diocese of Washington. God calls us to “stay in the fight” for our church, God’s people, the nation and the world. We believe that with the support of Church Revitalization, Spiritual Formation and Justice champions, we will gather a joyous harvest.