NEW YORK (PRWEB) September 24, 2013
In the wake of profound differences that some speculated would split the Episcopal Church, a diversity of church leaders has contributed to a new book that explores what changes may be needed to serve a modern, diverse society. From Presiding Bishop The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori to the The Very Reverend Katherine Hancock Ragsdale, President of the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, leaders write boldly about what kind of structural changes will encourage the Church to become what God might be calling it to be.
This book, "What We Shall Become: The Future and Structure of the Episcopal Church,” is published as the governing bodies of the Episcopal Church USA are anticipating formal recommendations that will outline the future character and structure of the Church.
Edited by The Reverend Winnie Varghese, rector of the historic St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, the collection of essays examines the issues that restructuring raises for the church, including:
“We have struggled for a generation to find our bearings, structurally, as the circles defining who we are are drawn wider and wider and our expectations and norms as well as our gifts become even more abundantly diverse and at times in apparent conflict within themselves,” Varghese writes. “Some essays argue that significant change to our structures is needed for effective ministry; others illustrate what can be accomplished within the structures we currently inhabit. All call us to consider where we fall short as a church and challenge us to perceive barriers in our current system and eliminate them.”
Jefferts Schori sets a bold, unmistakable tone for the church’s future as she outlines the ultimate goal of the essays’ thinking and work: “The mission we are engaged in is God’s mission to heal and reconcile the world … God’s Spirit is present in varied places and communities, and if we are to be faithful, part of our job is to build partnerships for mission with others who share our understanding of what God’s mission is about.”
In collection, these essays present a thought-provoking, clear-eyed look at the challenges facing the Episcopal Church and begin a pathway toward solutions.
Varghese, who served as the Episcopal Chaplain at Columbia University and UCLA and as an associate at St. Alban’s Los Angeles before beginning her tenure at St. Mark’s, is available for interviews. She is a recognized leader on many of the issues addressed in the essay collection and has published in Episcopal Life, The Witness and the Huffington Post.
Essay contributors include: