Swirling around with ideas of strategy, focus, and “We used to do it this way,” change is messy. Grappling with the in-between is messy. Living in the liminal space between what was and what will be is messy, yet here we are, wondering, “What did I get myself into?”
In acting, “being in the moment” is a phrase simply meaning being present, not thinking about your next line or move, but listening and seeing what is happening at any particular moment. Not unlike real life, when we naturally think about what’s next. Living in the liminal space is uncomfortable and yet full of potential.
Hired by Mennonite Church Alberta last September, I accepted a newly created position as communications coordinator. A general job description was in place but allowed room to be “messy,” to create, to form and give shape to a new connection among MC Alberta constituents.
Because churches are spread out into three clusters—Edmonton, Calgary and Southern Alberta—that are three to six hours apart, meeting together takes intentionality. With only 13 churches in our regional church, Sunday services are held in six different languages.
Need to call the MC Alberta office? The number will vary depending on who you need to reach, as we all work from home.
Since last October, a new kind of “messy” has happened. MC Canada’s structure has been decentralized, refocussing on congregational support and delegating leadership to the regional churches. Ironically, regions create a new centrality by working together. Moderators from each region now form the Joint Council, executive ministers form the Executive Staff Group, and communicators form MC Canada Communications. Each region brings its own perspective, priorities and personality.
As communicators, we wrestle with many questions. How do you create a nationwide brand while being regional? If staff members from both MC Manitoba and MC Canada host an event, whose logo is used? Does MC Canada need a social media presence in addition to the regional churches’? What if all regional churches are not on social media? Who does the media contact for information? What role does Canadian Mennonite play in the overall communications strategy? The key is that we get to wrestle with these questions together, bringing all of our regional nuances to the table.
“What did I get myself into?” is perhaps common angst felt across the regions. It may be hard to see the potential when we only understand what used to be. Consider this our opportunity to sit with the Holy Spirit, “being in the moment.”
June Miller is MC Alberta’s communications coordinator.