Where has the year 2021 gone? It should not be looked back as simply done in the blink of the eye, especially since so much has been built. In this space of walking along congregations, our work has been able to see emotion, evolution and growth. I would say the same to my time as the Communications Coordinator for the Riverside Innovation Hub. For the past 12 months, I have strived to share the stories that have been written and told in the first track of this work of building a public church with Minneapolis congregations.
When I started with this work, I was given resources to help me understand this work. It was and is a privilege to learn and envelop the mission of an organization. I knew from the time I applied for this position that the work done here is not work I have heard nor seen before. Had you? The work here of bridging congregations with a facilitator to the bridge church and community should not be a new concept. A public church is indeed what churches ought to strive for. Without community building and relationships, where can the church grow and take hold? That is what I ask of you to consider after this year of transition.
For those who might have finished their time walking with the Hub to those who are just beginning to learn the steps in which we encourage to build connections in your neighborhoods. I encourage you to take the resources given to your or those that you seek out and actually take a step. One step is all it takes to walk a mile, to meet someone halfway or making that change you have longed for. Everyone strives for resolutions at this time of the year, when one chapter seems to be ending and the next is just beginning. I have this hope as well, that I might be able to leave behind parts of 2021 that I don’t want to take with me, but truly without my experiences how would I know what I may need coming forth?
Through my time on the team, I have grown exponentially. My favorite experiences were those where I was able to interact with others though a majority may have been with a screen between our faces, I was thankful to hear others as they shared their thoughts and learnings. I have been thankful for the trust of creativity and past learnings that I have been able to incorporate whether that be in the media or social sense.
My experience with other organizations with emphasis on engagement of the whole neighborhood and understanding where each of our talents and loves can shine in a group setting. Projects may seem daunting at times, but truly, with a team such as this that supports time, reflection and meaningful experiences, work is no longer a 9 to 5 commitment. Yes, some hours are required out of those times and long nights and mornings are sometimes to be expected but it’s the people that make our work, work. Without a devoted team of lay folk that make up these congregational partners, this experiment to establish the public church would not have been possible.
Thank you to our community members that are willing to take that first step with us. We guarantee, change is and will continue to come and we hope you consider us to accompany you through the process. That is what this year has taught, that each year, month and day is a process. Each project, first step, and action is only a part of the process. I wish for you to take patience, courage and action into this new year.