The dynamic of mainline Christian congregations has been changing for some years now. A faster paced work and family life combined with technology and changing family systems has led to a marked decline in attendance at what have traditionally been the choices for worshiping Christians. New forms of worship have grown that some feel are a better "fit" for their interests and goals. As a result, parishes often find themselves searching for new ways to stay connected to their worshiping communities with more innovative means of shining their unique light into the world.
The Episcopal parishes of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, in St. Joseph, Trinity Episcopal Church, in Niles, and St. Paul's Episcopal Church, in Dowagiac, having all found themselves in a similar place in the life of their communities, have chosen to journey together. The three parishes have formed a larger worshiping community that encompasses their three parish boundaries. We have chosen the name, Southwest Michigan Episcopal Covenant to honor the covenant agreement we are entering into, to live as one community while providing worship in three locations.
The Covenant is represented by a Leadership Council made up of representatives of each parish. This Leadership Council continues to aid in the development of our relationships, assist in communications and support of the Rector
The times are exciting as we move forward in faith that God has a plan for us. We continue to pray, work, listen and learn from each other.
Lord, thank You for the people You have divinely placed in our lives who speak holy truth, love and words of wisdom. Give us hearts of discernment to know when You are using someone to speak instruction into our heart and our circumstances, and give us the strength and courage to follow through with that advice, even when it’s hard. Fill us with peace in knowing that even if we take a wrong turn, Your purpose will prevail. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.