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Big Provincial Gathering 2024

Last week, we went on the road to visit the Big Provincial Gathering for Province V of The Episcopal Church, gathering in South Bend, IN. The Episcopal Church is an international church in the Anglican Communion, a community of churches globally who trace their lineage through the Church of England. We organize ourselves into nine different provinces, each made up of dioceses which range from as small as a metro area to as large as whole continents. Province V is made up of dioceses in the general Great Lakes Basin and Midwest, in the states of Wisconsin, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan. All Provinces gather for Synod (a meeting) before the whole church gathers for General Convention, but not all hold their Synod as a multi-day event like Province V does. Gatherings like this are an opportunity to meet other folks doing similar ministries, to spread the word about the work being done and the support needed to do it, and to learn about what is happening in the wider church and where there may be opportunities to collaborate.

Interacting with folks who came by our exhibit was a great opportunity to learn about how hungry folks are for support in building more inclusive communities, for opportunities for learning, and for resources they could share with their faith communities, neighbors, friends, and family. It was also a great chance to talk about what it's been like developing a new thing from (almost) scratch. It's an exciting time in this journey, but also one in which the fruit of our labors is still very far off. In many ways, we're still preparing the ground and sowing seeds. What comes of them we do not know and will not know for a while yet.

What we do know is that ours is a God who offers abundant life. As a friend recently shared, "God won't call you to something that God won't get you through." Our hope is that, when the next Big Provincial Gathering rolls around, the AuSable Inclusion Center will be there again, with bells on, sharing the good news of what we've built and the life abundant we've experienced.

In the meantime, watch this space for more news as we prepare for our commissioning service on June 8th at 1 PM.


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