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May 05, 2011

House of Deputies President Calls Church to Courageous Charge

[Episcopal News Service] Episcopal Church House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson told audiences at Episcopal Divinity School May 5 that "the church is stuck in an organizational model" with "a bureaucracy with rules, roles, and relationships that we accept as our social reality."


"The church needs to be a movement. Right now we are an organization. We have a critical mass of 2 million ministers," Anderson said during the 2011 Kellogg Lectures.


Her lectures, collectively titled "Courageous Change: What it takes, and how it happens," combined multimedia with her words. Sean McConnell, Diocese of California canon for communications, produced the multimedia portion of the lectures.


Anderson said in her first lecture that "since we believe in a dynamic God, and by our baptism we participate with God in the quest to reconcile the world," the baptized "are called upon to … create the change that we believe will bring about a reconciled world."


She also said that the church mistakenly thinks that the ministry of the laity is performed only within the walls of the church when "the real job of the laity is to reconcile the world. Out there."


"These themes exemplify EDS's approach to ministry," the Very Rev. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale, EDS president and dean, said in a press release issued prior to the lectures. "We are delighted to have Dr. Anderson with us, once again, to show our students, through her words, and her life's work, how dedicated people of faith can make a difference in God's world."


Anderson said in her afternoon lecture that "baptism calls us to dangerous and courageous work in this world."


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