📓 1 big thing: Training new evangelism mentors
What’s new: TryTank is teaming up with the Department of Evangelism in the Office of the Presiding Bishop to train 20 Episcopal evangelism catalysts as Evangelism Mentors.
🎵 2- A 3D, 360-degree concert to teach gospel music
What’s new: Before the pandemic, TryTank had teamed up with the Gospel Choir from the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas in Philadelphia for a teaching tour.
Go deeper: In thinking about how to revive this experiment, new opportunities arose.
🔥 3- Web3Abbey holds first-ever Episcopal service in the metaverse
We asked the Rev. Sean Steele, the experiment manager for our metaverse church experiment, to tell you all how it went at the first Episcopal worship event in the metaverse. Here’s his note:
Big picture: The Web3 Abbey team hosted the service in a specially designed outdoor space on the AltSpaceVR platform that included ample space for worship, conversation, and fun.
What's next: They plan on meeting in the space on Monday evenings throughout the month of February at 7:00 pm central.
If you are interested in learning more please join their discord server HERE or simply come on Monday evenings, room code is RBR302!
👂4- Listening Project experiment will soon have results
Big picture: The Listening Project, launched in 2019, aimed to find out:
Last year, TryTank teamed with the experts at Learning Forte to take a deep dive into the “Listening Project” interviews and to try to discern a pattern that might prove to be something that could be replicated elsewhere.
Learning Forte’s chief researcher, Dr. Deborah Coe, has served as the head of research for two major denominations is leading the LF! staff through the process of coding the interviews and looking for answers that emerge.
What's next: In the coming weeks, Learning Forte will prepare a detailed research report to present to TryTank their findings. And you know we’ll have an update for you here.
🇬🇧 5- TryTank is headed to the United Kingdom
From March 14 to 25, TryTank’s director, the Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija (that’s me!) will be headed to the U.K. to talk about innovation in the church.
Why it matters: At TryTank, we want to teach anything we have learned in doing this work to others so that they too can try stuff out.
Go deeper: The trip will involve three stops: Edinburgh, Norwich, and London. At each stop, workshops will teach TryTank’s three-step framework for innovation and encourage new styles of church.
❤️ 6- Sometimes, we are reminded why we do this work
We are currently in the third phase of our evangelism experiment. Many of our congregations had their first opportunity to see results this past Tuesday for Shrove Tuesday.
On Wednesday, we were sent a message that a member of the evangelism team for Trinity Church in Mt. Airy, NC (a small rural congregation) sent to the other members of the team.
Here it is, unedited (CPS is Child Protective Services):
Guys, I really love my church, and aside from that, I’m actually proud of my church. I don’t feel like I’ve been able to say that at any other point in my life - aside from maybe the Wesley foundation at some points in college. Tonight we had a hotdog and marshmallows roast at riverside park. It was to celebrate Shrove Tuesday. Traditionally they have had a pancake supper at the church, but with Covid, crowding into a tiny building wasn’t a good idea, so we took it to the park, and since Tuesday night is also youth group night, the youth came too 😬 and I invited their families. We had rich and poor people, drug users and non-drug users, people who have spent years and years in prison and people who have never run into the law, LGBTQ and heterosexual people, white people and black people, refugees, immigrants, and natives, homeschoolers, public schoolers, school dropouts, people who are working on their GED and teenagers suspended from school indefinitely, young and old people, republicans abs democrats, church members, and no church members, foster families, adoptive families, CPS workers and the families served by CPS and kids taken away from their families by CPS, white-collar, blue-collar and unemployed people, and on and on. And we had a good time and it was amazing and special. The darkness is scary and overwhelming, but I saw the kingdom of God at the park last night.
🍎 7- It’s not too late for Prayer School
If you want to watch or listen to Prayer School, you can still do so. Just go HERE to find the resources, audio recording (great for the car), and video recordings.