(From The Episcopal Church, Office of Public Affairs)
Following dinner, the session was opened by the day’s Emcee, Bishop Victor Scantlebury of Chicago. Bishop Neil Alexander of Atlanta introduced a “historic occasion” as the deans of the seminaries joined the bishops:
- 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.