St. Martin-in-the-Fields was blessed to have the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop and primate of The Episcopal Church join the congregation for discussion on Sunday, February 9 in a town hall meeting at 9:30am.
Jefferts Schori started the session with praise for our congregation for enduring challenging changes in the interim time as we discern what God is calling us to become. “If there isn’t any anxiety, then I don’t think you’re dreaming big enough. Risk and trying new ways is part of living into God’s future, and if we’re not feeling a little bit uncertain about what that’s going to look like, we’re not being faithful in following Jesus. I wish you all the best in your exploration. You’re doing the right thing, so keep it up.”
She spoke about the international nature of The Episcopal Church, clarifying that the breadth of our mission area extends far beyond the national borders of the United States. “We continue to be widespread and increasingly involved in the lives of Christians and Anglicans and all people across the globe. We live in a global society and we are a global member of the Anglican Communion. We have mission partnerships in every province of the Anglican Communion.”
On changes in the church, Jefferts Schori said, “As a church particularly in the U.S. context, we are shifting from an existence as ‘part of the establishment’ to something that’s a lot more like the early church….we’re not engaged in maintaining status quo, we’re thinking about God’s new and developing and unfolding future, and we don’t know what it’s going to look like.”
Watch a video of Jefferts Schori’s remarks: http://youtu.be/nXIzprS2MA8
After speaking of The Episcopal Church, she opened the conversation to questions from members of the congregation and visitors. From one member, “I’d like to point out, just in case you haven’t heard this, the people that are running our church are doing a fine job.” The bishop observed, “We are a people of thanksgivings.”
With questions from members of St. Martin and from guests, the forum discussion covered topics of being an open and accepting community, what youth do and don’t like about church, what young people need for their spiritual growth and journey, the changing shape of the ministry of bishops in The Episcopal Church, and on growing new leadership.