House of Bishops daily account, evening of March 29

March 30, 2011

The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church is meeting at the Kanuga Conference Center in North Carolina from March 25 to March 30. The following is an account of the activities for the evening session of March 29.

Following dinner, the session was opened by the day's emcee, Assistant Bishop Victor Scantlebury of Chicago.

Bishop Neil Alexander of Atlanta introduced a "historic occasion" as the bishops were joined by the deans of the seminaries:

Bob Bottoms, Seabury-Western Theological Seminary
The Very Rev. Joseph H. Britton, Berkeley Divinity School at Yale
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Virginia Theological Seminary
The Very Rev. Robert S. Munday, Nashotah House
The Rev. Dr. Katherine Ragsdale, Episcopal Divinity School
The Very Rev. Joseph Britton, Bexley Hall Seminary
The Very Rev. Mark Richardson, Church Divinity School of the Pacific
The Very Rev. Dr. William S. Stafford, School of Theology – University of the South
The Very Rev. Dr. Justyn Terry, Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry
The Very Rev. Douglas Travis, Seminary of the Southwest
Bishop Peter Lee, interim dean of General Theological Seminary, is a member of HOB

Bishop Dabney Smith of Southwest Florida introduced the topic for the evening: Selection Recruitment and Formation of Young Leadership. HOB discussed questions in table groups:

A bishop is called to ordain priests and deacons; and to encourage and support all baptized people in their gifts and ministries.

- How do you actively recruit and form leaders? Do your diocesan staff and/or structure help you do so?

- How do the Title III ministry canons and Episcopal Church deployment practices shape and/or impede your recruitment and formation efforts?

- Do the ministry canons and your diocesan policies/practices provide enough flexibility to select and recruit people in an evolving cultural landscape?

- Do your congregational visitation practices assist in the selection and recruitment of young adults?

The bishops enthusiastically shared their discussion points and findings from their small groups, particularly noting the need for greater flexibility in formation of clergy as well as a greater sense that the church needs to be attentive to the formation of lay leaders.

Media Briefers for the evening were Bishop Jim Mathes of San Diego and Bishop Prince Singh of Rochester.

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