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. +
As the autumn season begins, many church—and personal—schedules begin to fill up. Days grow shorter and the list of to-do’s only increase as we inch towards forthcoming holidays. Costumes to be made, goodies to bake, presents to be purchased and so on. Considering the busy-ness of the next few months as we approach Advent, here […]
Shortly after the resurrection, Jesus was walking down a long road when he ran into two strangers. These strangers did not recognize Jesus. How could they? Jesus had died, been buried, and, just hours earlier, risen from the dead. The stunning story of Christ’s death had spread, and these two travelers did not yet believe […]
For five days in late May of this year, I had the privilege of gathering with other seminarians at the annual Preaching in Excellence conference hosted by the Episcopal Preaching Foundation (EPF). For 35 years, the EPF has been educating Episcopal seminarians and clergy on the benefits of great preaching. Four of my fellow Sewanee […]