“Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” – Isaiah 43:18,19
When I first recruited the LDI’s founding leadership team, I never imagined that our would blossom as it has over these past 8 years. We have developed leadership teams within 53 worshipping communities and trained hundreds of people. Our work has spread ecumenically and nationwide. LDI demonstrates that powerful change can happen when people take responsibility for enabling others to achieve shared purpose under conditions of uncertainty.
Today, when people of faith urgently need to embody love that brings about justice LDI is again listening deeply. Over the past year, under Natalie Finstad’s guidance, we have carefully discerned where our work can best meet our community’s need, and have assessed which organizational structure can best accommodate our growing ministry in the diocese of Massachusetts and beyond.
Alongside this process, our fiscal agent, collaborator and long-time funder, ECM, has also been discerning their response to this urgent moment. It has become clear to both the LDI Leadership Team and ECM’s Executive Committee that our work is deeply integrated. LDI is drawn to ECM’s emerging mission of deepening the church’s response to immigration, racial justice and economic justice, and ECM intends to feature LDI’s formation tools and practices as a critical centerpiece of their new strategic plan. As a result LDI will become part of ECM and we will be dropping our distinct public identity.
We have many people to thank for helping us get to this point, yet we would be remiss if we did not mention Rev. Steven Bonsey, Rt. Rev. Bud Cederholm, Rev. Arrington Chambliss, Ruy Costa, Rev. John DeBeer, Rev. Laura Everett, Marshall Ganz, Nicholas Hayes, Duncan Hilton, and the late Rt. Rev. M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE.
This year was especially sweet under LDI’s formidable Executive Director, Natalie Finstad and her excellent team: Lydia Strand, Isaac Martinez and Jesse Ortiz. I am thrilled about the work this team did this year and equally thrilled that Natalie has accepted the position of Director of Programs and Engagement with ECM. The fruits of our labor will continue under a different banner: Now a new thing springs forth. Do you not perceive it?
In solidarity and deep gratitude,
Ella Davila Auchincloss, MTS
Chair, LDI Leadership Team
Member, Executive Committee, Episcopal City Mission