Bishop Breidenthal has named Jean Cotting as interim coordinator of the Listening Project committee. She replaces the Rev. Karl Stevens, who now serves as Director of Children and Youth at St. John’s, Worthington.
For the last two years under Stevens’ leadership, the Listening Project committee, continuing on conversations that began at the 141st diocesan convention, has identified nine common areas of mission – Affinity Groups – about which our congregations have energy and passion:
- Prison Ministry
- Advocacy & Community Development
- Mission Trips
- Serving Meals
- Hospitality & Sharing Space
- Homelessness and Housing
- Farms & Gardens
The committee also has conducted a multitude of interviews about missional activity in several congregations around the diocese to learn of the various ways we are reaching out to and engaging with our communities. What is working, and what isn’t – where are we having successes? What approaches are working, and what lessons have been learned from initiatives that haven’t worked out? What are the areas that we’d like to expand into – and what resources are needed to be able to make it happen?
During this time of transition, Cotting will help the committee reflect on this work and begin planning a future course of action.
“Our hope for this transitional phase of the project is to help lay the groundwork and provide a base of information for Bishop Breidenthal and our community leaders as they set about the task of more formally articulating our diocesan vision and aspirations for moving into the future and defining who we want to become as a people of faith,” said Cotting. “We particularly hope to provide useful supplemental information from our collection of data to the Exodus Convocation this fall.”
Cotting adds, “As part of my work on this committee, I’ve had the opportunity to get to work with a number of very fine people both in my own local community in Columbus and across the diocese. On behalf of Karl and myself, I would like to thank the congregations that have participated in the interview process, and our committee members for all their work in bringing the project thus far. I look forward to keeping you updated as we bring more clearly into focus our vision of how we in Southern Ohio will grow and develop as vital participants in the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement.”