Preparing for the Church that is not the Church that was

Date: September 14, 2023

I confess my plan was to stay for thirty minutes and then head to the office to write an important report for my Board Chair. However, as I sat there, I was intrigued. I listened fascinated as these Bishops of The Episcopal Church reflected on their challenges in providing the resources and training for the congregations in their dioceses. The conversation was intimate and deeply serious.

This was all part of the Mutual Ministry Initiative. Our guests are here for two days. We were sitting in Gibbs; Dr. Kimball and Dr. Lyons were facilitating the conversation. I was there to learn.

One truth that I feel deeply is this: the idea that congregations should involve all the baptized in their worshipping lives is not the exclusive domain of the smaller congregations. This is how all congregations should be. Church as conceived of in the New Testament and in the Early Church was not a professional team serving a largely passive congregation, but a dynamic interplay of all the members who serve each other and the world that God has placed us in.

The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary and the President of The General Theological Seminary

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