From its inception three years ago, the Becoming Beloved Community movement in Southern Ohio has been working toward an increased commitment to racial healing, evangelism, and creation care (the three pillars of Becoming Beloved Community), seeking to “become the church that looks and acts like Jesus.” Amy Howton, coordinator for the group, created an Impact Report, which outlines the accomplishments and findings of this work in the diocese as she and other leaders discerned the future of the movement.
The newly-organized core team includes Amy Howton and Miriam McKenney, co-leaders, both contracted by the diocese, Catherine Duffy, and the Rev. Canon Jason Oden, Canon for Formation and New Episcopal Ministries. The team continues to use the community of practice leadership model. “The premise of this model is that wisdom emerges in and through relationships rather than a top-down approach,” Howton says.
This team has worked over recent months to plan and submit the Becoming Beloved Community budget for 2023 and determine priorities for the next two years. The common goal is to build capacity, innovate, and re-form our diocese into one that looks and acts like Jesus by integrating Becoming Beloved Community into our culture and structures; the Community would have us remember and know God’s transformative love as seen in each other.
Additionally, Becoming Beloved Community formation offerings, including individual, diocesan-wide, and community-wide experiences, are being planned for the remainder of 2022. Details about those events and information on how to participate will be featured in a later issue of the diocesan newsletter.
Those who have served in the development of this ministry and movement have been essential to where we stand now: more connected, more emboldened, more integrated, and more whole. In particular, Becoming Beloved Community offers thanksgiving for the foundational work of: Dianne Ebbs, the Rev. Maggie Foote, the Rev. Canon Jane Gerdsen, the Rev. Rick Incorvait, Larry James, Megan Johnson, the Rev. Joanna Leiserson, Martha (Marty) Lentz, the Rev. Meribah Mansfield, Miriam McKenney, Ariel Miller, the Rev. Karen Montagno, the Rev. John Paddock, Dr. Cherie Bridges Patrick, the Rev. Carol Potterton, the Rev. Canon Lee Anne Reat, Nadya Richardson, and Madeleine Trichel. We thank the most recent leadership team, including the Rev. Michelle Dayton and Larry James, co-conveners; Catherine Duffy, Miriam McKenney, Ariel Miller, the Rev. Christopher Richardson, the Rev. Melanie Slane, Deborah Stokes, and Jason Williams. We celebrate and honor the tremendous work these individuals and teams did together.
The new Becoming Beloved Community leadership team invites questions, ideas, or concerns from all across the diocese. We are in this together and each of us is essential. We are excited about the possibilities that only God can imagine!