Magazine article Anglican Journal

Ministry of All Baptized Explored: Churches Look at New Models

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Ministry of All Baptized Explored: Churches Look at New Models

Article excerpt

Carson City, Nev.

The meeting was unusual for several reasons. Bishops, lay people and clergy sat in circles, with no clerical collars or colours to distinguish them. They came from the United States, Canada, Australia and England to explore new ways for the church to perform its mission and ministry in their dioceses. And they left brimming with enthusiasm and hope.

It was the annual gathering of Living Stones Partnership, a group of 12 U.S. and Canadian dioceses promoting the ministry of all baptized people and committed to the principles of total ministry -- or mutual ministry.

"This was the fourth annual meeting, and the group is growing," said Nebraska Bishop James E. Krotz. "Everyone here has a passion for this dream of mutual ministry. At least for most of us, recognizing baptized ministry is the future of the whole church."

"We are sharing insights and confronting questions and challenging people with a very compatible view of ministry development," said Bishop Tom Ray of Northern Michigan. One force helping to stimulate interest in total ministry is financial pressure, he said.

"As the situation becomes more desperate, we get more creative ... When a diocese spends 60 per cent of its income -- the money donated to it -- to pay salaries, we have to say `what's wrong with this picture?' "

Archbishop David Crawley of Kootenay said, "Our history in Canada is less structured (than the U.S.) in dealing with locally-ordained, trained clergy," He found the meeting "very helpful," he added, because it provided "lots of practical information" from dioceses that have implemented total ministry. …

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