Resolved, the House of_______________ concurring, that the 78th General Convention acknowledge with thanks to God for the Brotherhood of St. Andrew and 132 years of ministry to men and boys and be it further
Resolved that the 78th General Convention encourage and support dioceses and congregations in their efforts to develop and expand Ministry to Men throughout the Episcopal Church, and to mentor and raise up the next generation of young men throughout the Episcopal Church.
A hundred and thirty-two years ago, in November, 1883, twelve men, led by James L. Houghteling, changed a prayer and study group at St. James Church, Chicago, into a national organization for Episcopal men. It is called the Brotherhood of St. Andrew, and in the summer of 1983 (Aug. 3-7) the Brotherhood of St Andrew celebrated its Centennial year of service to men and boys.
The Brotherhood began its outreach by ministering to lonely and destitute men in downtown Chicago. From this sprang the fellowship's objective: "the spread of Christ's kingdom among men and boys."
The idea spread and soon there were Brotherhood chapters in Episcopal churches across the nation, and beyond. By 1904 there were 2,500 chapters and about 50,000 members. Of these, 1,800 chapters and 36,000 members were in the United States. Others were in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the British Isles, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Central America, South Africa, Uganda and the Philippines.
Over the years the Brotherhood has had an interesting and enduring influence in the life of the Episcopal Church. In 1885 it developed the Lay Reader program which was adopted by the National Church. It sponsored the Forward Movement and sent four missionaries to the Philippines, leading to the establishment of the Episcopal Church there. The Brotherhood also established numerous training camps for young men and boys. During both World Wars, the Brotherhood was an active presence for men away from home. Many colleges had chapters. A member of the Brotherhood, Paul Rusch, started the Kiyosato Educational Experiment Program (KEEP) in Japan to be a model for progressive farming. The Brotherhood has developed numerous home study and Bible courses, many of which are still in use in the Church.
Today members of the Brotherhood sponsor boy scout troops, participate in prison ministries, lead Veteran Friendly Congregational Ministries, men’s bible study groups, discipleship training, ministry to fatherless and homeless boys, and a wide variety of programs designed to bring men and youth to Christ. But we are falling behind- “We are not a healthy culture for boys and men. One reason is that we are no longer a culture of elders who know how to pass on wisdom, identity and boundaries to the next generation. …The patterns of failure among our young men are frightening; the levels of depression, suicide, drug abuse, alcoholism, and violence among young males today are exponential. Over 94% of all inmates are male, 80% of all suicides are men, and males commit suicide almost six times as often as women….Men are hurting. (Fr. Richard Rohr-Adams Return)
There are many state of the art ministries to men. The National Coalition of Ministries to Men, Lutheran Men in Mission, United Methodist Men’s Ministry, Man in the Mirror Ministries, Christian Mentors Network, and many more. The Episcopal Church needs to play catch up, before we lose a whole generation of young men. Dr. Patrick Morley, founder of Man in the Mirror Ministries, defines discipleship as being, “called to live in Christ, equipped to live like Christ, and sent to live for Christ.” Our goal as men’s ministry specialists, is to see that every congregation develops or expands its Ministry to Men, with a focus on “leaving no man behind.”
We are here to assist any congregation in the establishment of a Ministry to Men. We would appreciate your support on Diocesan web sites, and on individual congregation web sites. Let’s all work together to build strong Christian men in every congregation.