Bishops’ Collaborative Forms to Engage and Connect Around the Movement of Mutual Ministry

A group of 8 individuals in a group smiling at the camera in front of a weathered brick wall.
VTS students, along with MMi Project Director (The Rev. Canon Lydia Bucklin) and Resource Developer (Br. Thomas Steffensen), participating in Visitor’s Weekend Fall 22’– hosted by the Diocese of N. Michigan. Students visited local congregations, heard from local missioners, and explored new ministry initiatives and collaborative governance processes. (Lt to Rt: Austin Wednt, Hayden Paul, Diane Kyle, Kimberly Dunn, Casey Jones, The Rev. Canon Lydia Bucklin, Luis Hernandez Rivas, and Br. Thomas Steffensen). Photo credit: Charles Murphy.

The Mutual Ministry Initiative (MMi), one of the Department of Lifelong Learning’s Lilly Endowment Inc. funded grants, has completed the first year of its project. A critical component of this multi-year effort to meet the urgent need for clergy and lay leaders trained as ministry developers in local, culturally specific contexts includes the Bishops’ Collaborative: a space for bishops in The Episcopal Church (and wider Anglican Communion) to engage and connect around the movement of mutual ministry. 

The Collaborative comprises bishops from various dioceses within The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada, and the Anglican Church of Australia, in which they are creatively responding to the needs of a changing church where the traditional one full-time paid clergy person per congregation model might no longer fit. The group meets monthly for shared wisdom, collaboration, inspiration, and networking. Topics vary, with an upcoming discussion set to focus on the role of traditional seminaries for those entering vocational ministry, ordained or not, especially in areas where what it means to “be Church” is changing.

Kim Arakawa, MA-ORGL
Project Manager, Mutual Ministry (MMi) & Baptized for Life (BFL); Convener of Initiatives;
Lifelong Learning

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