The idea of partnership comes from a nautical term that refers to the timbers used to support the mast of a sail boat where it enters the deck. The partner must be secure for the boat to function properly. When winds pick up it is the partner that stabilizes the mast and makes sure the deck holds firm. In the Saint Paul Area Synod, mission partners exist for a very similar reason - to make sure that each is made stronger by the existence of the other; true partnership blesses both ministries.
Three Principles of Mission Partnership
Local mission partnership is a program of the Saint Paul Area Synod that encourages ministries to build relationships with each other around three principles:
Prayer: Strengthen the bonds of partnership by regularly praying for one another.
Presence: Bless each other by connecting members of existing congregations with the new and renewing ministries.
Presents: Share God’s gift of financial resources to support and strengthen the ministry of new and renewing congregations as well as the ministry of the existing congregation.
Local mission partnership is the lifeblood of new and renewing congregations in the Saint Paul Area Synod. Centered around the principles of prayer, presence, and presents, we recognize that new mission starts and redevelopment efforts could not happen without these principles. However, local mission partnership goes beyond that. It means support, love, and willingness to learn together and share each other's experiences. In partnership, the established congregation grows from being part of something new just as much as the new congregation grows in its own life.
Where does your story intersect?
Local mission partnership provides ways for your congregation to be "hands on" with the mission and accompany new and renewing congregations of the ELCA as they carry out God's mission in their communities. Wherever new ELCA ministries are started in the Saint Paul Area Synod, you are there through your partnership.
Where does your story intersect with the synod's call to renew ourselves for deeper faith, wider engagement, and bolder trust in God's work today? To learn more about how your ministry can engage in fulfilling partnership, contact the Rev. Justin Grimm at firstname.lastname@example.org.