Support the Café
Search our site

Vt. Episcopal Bishop Shannon MacVean-Brown On Inclusivity, Community And ‘Creation Care’

Vt. Episcopal Bishop Shannon MacVean-Brown On Inclusivity, Community And ‘Creation Care’

In an interview this morning with the NPR station in Vermont, Bishop MacVean-Brown shared her reflections on her new ministry.

“If the church is going to really, truly be inclusive, like we dream, people that have been excluded are actually the ones that are experts on how that can happen,” MacVean-Brown said. “Once I grabbed onto that, I realized, ‘Okay, I can’t remain a priest just for black people.’ And that’s where I was. I was the rector of the second oldest black Episcopal church. And telling them about how to be inclusive — it’s like preaching to the choir.”

In addition to confronting the challenge of inclusivity, MacVean-Brown has another issue to tackle: declining church attendance in one of the least religious states in the country. While the bishop said she would be “looking at numbers,” she also doesn’t want that to be her main focus.

“I feel like we have a good example in thinking of how the church started: church attendance wasn’t high when Jesus was around,” MacVean-Brown said. “When the disciples started out, it wasn’t like they had this history of keeping track of how many people attended church on Sunday. Part of what I’m hoping is we won’t focus only on numbers, but on really what we’re called to be as people of faith: concerned about our world, interacting with our world, investing ourselves in our world around us and loving the people and seeing what God’s up to in our communities.”

The full text of the interview, with audio, is here. MacVean-Brown is the first African-American woman to serve as a bishop in Vermont. She was consecrated on September 28 following the retirement of The Rt. Rev. Thomas C. Ely.

Dislike (2)
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café