It’s always encouraging to hear ministers asking questions about what it means to be ‘church’ in a particular time and location. Here’s a clip of the Rev. LeeAnne Watkins, Rector at St. Mary’s (St. Paul, Minnesota), giving voice to some of the challenges that she is facing as she seeks to live out her ordination vows with faith, and to lead the people of God in her neck of the woods with courage:
To be sure, there’s much more conversation that needs to happen here – about the nature of church itself and of the church’s participation in the missio dei, about the task of witness, about the shape of Christian vocation in the world, about the nature of ‘the world’ itself, about the church’s teaching role, about the prophetic role of ministry, about what and who sets the agenda for the church’s and minister’s work, about where the body of Jesus is to be found, about the isolation, support, networking and emotional health of ministers, about why the consumer/attractional model of church is a fizz, &etc. – and it’s not as if LeeAnne is the only one engaged in this important conversation, but she at least articulates how many minister’s feel as they, with others who have an ear to hear, strain to ‘listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches’ (Rev 2 & 3).