The verdict is in. A growing body of national studies and initiatives all indicate that cultural shifts in society and demographic changes among seminary students demand a reconsideration of how we educate and train people for ecclesial leadership for the third millennium. - Jeffrey D. Jones
Yesterday's beginning of the Bread for the Journey conference at Seabury went really well. I had the very good fortune of leading the Evensong service. I love that service. It is perhaps my favorite in all of the Anglican lexicon of daily prayer and worship. It was good to get back together with some old classmates and lead the gathering community in worship.
We were a little worried that the conference might be a bust. Only 20 or so had signed up as of last week. Yesterday I heard that we doubled that number. And last night as the Dean and the local Bishop gave their presentation on the future of theological education and Seabury's specific challenges, there had to be 60 or more people in the room. The energy was very creative. People were engaged in conversation with one another and the presenters were able to lay a helpful groundwork as well as respond to some of our own ideas.
Of course, I had to jump in and add my two cents. I just can't keep my mouth shut at these things. I like to talk. What can I say? The Dean spoke of "de-schooling" seminaries. He referenced a book I had never heard of but had apparently been influential and still is in pedagogical circles. The idea is compelling and I spoke of "de-corporationing" the church. It's something I think we all need to do on some level in our ministries especially if we are pastoring congregations that are burdened by their own infrastructure.
Finally, there was an alum meeting. We're going to restructure the alumni/ea association so that it can be more useful to the alum. Who knew such a thing was possible? Amazing.
We'll see. Life is feeling a bit experimental right now. It's exciting and a little daunting, but that's the landscape.
I'll blog again about the conference when I can. Today I am pitching in on the Vespers/Matriculation service. It should be interesting.