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Episcopal evangelism: let’s get started

Episcopal evangelism: let’s get started

We almost never publicize conferences on the Cafe, but this one deals with a subject that is particularly close to my heart.

Missional Development Conference

September 20-22

General Theological Seminary

New York, NY

The Spirit is transforming our whole world, unveiling the image of God already present in all of us. Evangelism is the spiritual practice of opening ourselves to engage the image of God in others. Through this spiritual practice of seeking and serving Christ in all persons, we are drawn into the Spirit’s reconciling and transforming passion. This passion drives us to mission, the gathering of spiritual communities in which we can experience each other and ourselves as the Beloved of God. This experience of Belovedness makes us want more. We want to expand and deepen our capacity to practice the kinds of evangelism and mission through which we participate in the Spirit’s revelation of God’s love.

To strengthen our witness to the image of God in each of us and our sharing of God’s love, the Episcopal Evangelism Network is convening a missional development conference. Together we will explore: engaging people and communities generatively across lines of difference, forming missional leaders who can nurture others’ pursuit of their authentic vocation, and discerning the Spirit’s movement in our worship, in our spiritual communities and in our local contexts. In all these explorations, we will seek to follow the Spirit’s lead together.

Participants will experientially and collaboratively engage topics in the following areas:

Progressive Evangelism

• Engaging in spiritual conversation with the “spiritual but not religious”

• Learning how to actively hear and respond to another’s spiritual story

Contextual Liturgy

• Stretching into the expansive range of Episcopal worship

• Creating liturgical space where multiple cultures are in conversation

• Holding spiritual space for others

• Utilizing non-eucharistic tools for worship

Missional Organizing

• Empowering missional leaders who develop other missional leaders

• Building spiritual community through building relationships

• Strategizing for regional mission planning

• Mapping assets to discern resources for ministry

• Developing communities of missional practice

• Communicating and publicizing our communities’ stories

Presenting speakers and facilitators include: Simon Bautista, Tom Brackett, Courtney Cowart, Monique Ellison, Otis Gaddis III, Ana Hernandez, Randy Kimmler, Donald Schell, Daniel Simons, Stephanie Spellers, Jannie Swart, Karen Ward, Rebecca Wilson, Robert Wright.

Come join EEN at General Theological Seminary and grow, explore, and connect with fellow people passionate about participating in the Spirit’s transformation in our world!

Register at

(Full disclosure: Rebecca Wilson is my business partner, and Deacon Otis Gaddis and I have been talking about the need for a new approach to evangelism since before he went into the seminary.)


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Kyle Matthew Oliver

Very excited to be attending as representative of the Center for the Ministry of Teaching at Virginia Seminary. We’re looking forward to seeing how our work can be a part of such evangelism efforts.

Kyle Oliver

CMT Digital Missioner


OK … We’re sold. Two from All Saints Pasadena heading your way! (Let’s grow us some church! )

Susan Russell

E Sinkula

Jannie Swart is a terrific speaker/pastor. We really miss him at my home parish in St. Paul.


Matthew Lukens

Dear Eric and others with similar concerns,

We are delighted to share that now we have received some significant financial assistance to help bring the registration cost down for anyone who finds it prohibitive.

One of the greatest joys of helping convene this conference has been the outpouring of support from so many places: The General Theological Seminary’s gracious hosting; dioceses and seminaries that have agreed to be sponsors; and facilitators who are as excited as I am about this upcoming opportunity.

It is thanks to the combined effort of our host, sponsors, and facilitators that we we are able to offer this financial assistance for registration.

While at this time we are only able to offer lodging to seminarians and attendees sponsored by Episcopal Young Adult and Campus Ministries on a first come first serve basis, we hope to offer this aid in registration costs to allow local parishes to send leaders or teams to the event.

For those unable to attend, keep watching. Additional opportunities with EEN are forthcoming and exciting projects engaging mission and evangelism in The Episcopal Church are springing up all the time!

Faithfully yours,

Matthew Lukens

Eric Funston

I really wish I could attend this and/or send several folks from my parish. But notice is just too short and expense too great. How about taking this on the road?

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