The Roman Catholic Church in central Minnesota finds itself in a challenging and exciting time. During 2018-2019 the Diocese of Saint Cloud, in consultation with Saint John's School of Theology and Seminary, restructured 131 parishes into 29 Area Catholic Communities (ACC) to provide for the pastoral and spiritual needs of its 123,475 baptized Catholics. The partners are eager to build intercultural bridges with local faith communities and foster a culture of co-responsibility. This will require a substantive shift and expansion in mindset. What needs to be formed is not merely an ACC with more programs but an ACC that is a learning community with a vision of thriving, and a capacity to live into that vision. Our initiative will form Thriving Resource Teams who will gain skills in facilitating systemic, organizational change to foster ACCs as a learning community while keeping its finger on the pulse of Christian practices that lead to thriving and co-responsibility for the mission. Equipped as trainers the teams will accompany Thriving Learning Communities (TLCs) who are the 'feet on the ground' in this initiative. The TLCs will form among ACCs to stay aware of the changing social and cultural context of their community and to pastorally plan for their mission by igniting pastoral imagination, fostering mature discipleship, using digital Church demographic tools, and reenergizing Christian practices for thriving community life.
Bridge-Builders for a Thriving Mission