Thank you for the opportunity to attend this year’s Missional Voices Conference at Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS). It was a truly amazing conference—not because of training or receiving answers, but rather it was all about the questions we need to ask ourselves as Episcopalians. It was all about the questions! I heard so many thought-provoking statements and observations! A little about the structure of the conference:
Keynote: The Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Boyle
Bishop Doyle, ninth bishop of Texas, describes his six-word autobiography as: “Met Jesus on pilgrimage, still walking.” Bishop Doyle’s ministry focus is service, evangelism, reconciliation, and challenging Episcopalians to move into their communities with the gospel in word and action.
Keynote: The Rev. Becca Stevens
Becca Stevens is priest, social entrepreneur, founder and president of Thistle Farms, which produces personal and household products. Its motto is to heal, empower, and employ survivors of abuse. Thistle Farms opens sanctuaries for survivors in a loving community. The global market of Thistle Farms helps employ more than 1,800 women worldwide, and the national network has more than 40 sister communities. Becca was recently named a 2016 CNN Hero and a White House Champion of Change.
Keynote: The Rev. Stephanie Spellers
Throughout the conference, we asked and were asked fascinating and unsettling questions. A few takeaways:
I’m uncomfortable using the term “transformed,” because it carries the connotation of “I was in Place A and now I’m in Place B” as though Place B is some definable new place. I am still very much working on where my new here is—but following this conference, I am definitely no longer in that old here. I am in a state that is blessedly uncomfortable. +
Feeling trapped is scary. As the Psalmist’s words remind us, however, God comes to those who are stuck. This was the case in the Old Testament with exiled Israel—caught in a geopolitical and geographical conundrum, with its oppressors on one side and the daunting Red Sea on the other. Nowhere to go but “up,” so […]
Brian Petersen grew up in San Diego County and was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod. He served in the Marine Corps and later became involved in youth ministry and music ministry while attending Azusa Pacific University. After graduating from APU, Brian moved to the Pacific Northwest and attended seminary at Golden […]
Peter arrived from the Diocese of Iowa after retiring in January 2016. Following graduation from Nashotah House seminary in 1984, he served parishes in Davenport, Trinity Cathedral; Durant, Iowa; and Clinton, Iowa as well as ELCA Lutheran congregations in Princeton Iowa, and several interim settings in the “Quad-Cities” Iowa/Illinois region with the ELCA. Having been […]