(Anglicans and Lutherans in God’s Neighborhoods)
ALIGN is an exciting new journey seeking out where God is active among our neighbours and in the neighbourhoods we call home.
UPDATE ON ALIGN (April 2017)
ALIGN was introduced at an information meeting in Winnipeg back in September. In the months since then, we identified four neighbourhoods where we would begin the experiment and have collected groups of people to participate in three neighbourhoods in Winnipeg as well as the St. Andrews/Selkirk area of Manitoba. Each neighbourhood group includes people who identify as Lutheran and Anglican as well as ordained and lay people.
The four ALIGN teams have begun the experiment by meeting together in public spaces in their respective neighbourhoods. By meeting in neighbourhood places, these ALIGN teams are connecting and sharing with their neighbours, who are often curious about what is involved. Groups have begun the practice of Listening by Dwelling in the Word by reflecting on Luke 10:1-12 as a way of listening to God. The other part of Listening involves listening to their neighbourhoods by listening to each other’s stories of their experiences in their neighbourhoods, and learning how to listen to those who are different than themselves in their neighbourhood. The goal is a greater communion with God, each other, and our neighbourhoods.
On March 9, members of all ALIGN teams came together for a joint event in St. Andrew’s Manitoba. At this event, each team was introduced to the other neighbourhoods and was encouraged to continue attending to listening in their neighbourhoods and sharing the stories that are emerging. Over the next few months, each neighbourhood group will continue to connect, engage, and listen in their neighbourhoods and share the stories of the connections that are emerging.
Over the next year, each of the four teams will continue to meet monthly to continue to engage in Listening (through Dwelling in God’s Word) Discerning, Experimenting and Evaluating and Deciding.
Overall, the process has gone a little bit slower than we anticipated but we are encouraged to keep at it.
If you would like further details, fee free to contact a member of the ALIGN Oversight Team: Simon Blaikie, Larry Ulrich, or Melinda Pearce (firstname.lastname@example.org)
September 21 UPDATE
It was very encouraging to engage with the 80 Lutherans and Anglicans who came together at Faith Lutheran, Winnipeg for the information meeting (September 14) with Dr. Roxburgh and the ALIGN team. In addition to those who gathered in the worship space, there were several more who attended online. At the end of the level of excitement in this response is an inspiration to us and the ALIGN team. At the end of the evening, more than 30 persons signed up indicating their interest to come along on this exciting new journey as we seek out where God is active among our neighbours and in the neighbourhoods we call home. Since last week, we have learned of several more persons who are interested in becoming involved. The level of excitement in this response is an inspiration to us and the ALIGN team.
As explained at the meeting, for the first stage of this experimental journey, the ALIGN team has now chosen four neighbourhoods from where the greatest interest was expressed. These are:
Wolseley/West End of Winnipeg
Selkirk, MB area
Southwest Winnipeg (Whyte Ridge, Lindenwoods, Waverley West, Richmond)
West and East Kildonan, Winnipeg
(If your neighborhood was not chosen, please know that we really value your interest and will seek to include you in further stages of this work.)
If you live in one of these four neighborhoods and did not yet sign up, please indicate your interest by emailing us ASAP at email@example.com Please use this email address as well if you wish to be regularly updated on what is taking place with ALIGN.