From the Worldwide Faith News archives

[ENS] Teaching: Living Stones helps participants learn about ministry development / Catalyst: Life o

From "Matthew Davies" <>
Date Tue, 27 Feb 2007 07:38:16 -0500

NewsLink, Serving the Episcopal Church

Daybook -- Today is Tuesday, February 27, 2007, in Lent. The Church calendar remembers George Herbert, priest (1593-1633).

* Today in Scripture: Daily Office meditation: * Today in Prayer: Anglican Cycle of Prayer: * Today in History: On this day in 1773, Christ Episcopal Church in Alexandria, Virginia, was completed after six years of construction.

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Teaching: Living Stones helps participants learn about ministry development

By Phina Borgeson

[ENS] Engaging one another's "Baptismal Ministry Reports" was at the center of the agenda when Living Stones partners gathered in Spokane, Washington, February 17-20.

"Most of us usually just race forward with ministry," commented Liz Magill of the Pastoral Excellence Project ( at Episcopal Divinity School, keynoter for the annual meeting. "There is much more reflection in the reports prepared and in the first few hours of this meeting."

Clusters of four member delegations worked together to listen, question and reflect on the issues and opportunities brought to the table. Reports explored structural, cultural, and systemic change; developing congregation, team and individual competence in ministry, as well as developing the ministry professionals who can lead such efforts; new formats and technologies for baptismal ministry formation; and patterns of continuing support and education for congregations which have changed their vision and practice of ministry.

Living Stones ( is comprised of 17 U.S. partner dioceses, two Canadian partner dioceses, the Anglican parishes of the Central Interior, the Community of the Holy Spirit and Episcopal Divinity School.

Visitors this year represented the council of seminary deans of the Episcopal Church, staffs of both the Anglican Church of Canada's national office and the Episcopal Church Center, the General Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church, and five other North American dioceses.

Fran Gardner, missioner intern in the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan, said she enjoyed hearing stories of ministry development in contexts other than the one she knows best. "Dioceses doing ministry development aren't cookie cutters," she said.

Margaret Babcock, Canon for Ministry and Congregational Development in the Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming, echoed that sentiment. "Mutual ministry is not a thing that you learn, it's a thing that you live," she said. "So every time you are in a new group, you need to learn where they are on the journey. Living Stones keeps that fresh in my mind."

Babcock, who in 2006 resigned as Canon for Congregational Development in the Episcopal Diocese of Idaho to take up her new work, serves as a Living Stones coordinator. Coordinators represent the dioceses and other communities of faith that constitute Living Stones, forming a group which fills both board and meeting planning roles for the partnership. Holladay Sanderson, coordinator for the host diocese, Spokane, organized the local hospitality for this year's gathering.

Gardner, experiencing her first Living Stones meeting, reflected on the challenge of "like everything else in the church" of getting a sense of what's going on, "the traditions, unspoken norms, vocabulary."

Partners use a variety of terms to refer to their ministry-development programs, including total, mutual and shared ministry, but all agree that Christian ministry is rooted in the covenant of baptism.

Full story:

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Catalyst: "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave" from Penguin Group, by Frederick Douglass, 160 pages, paperback, c. 1982, $8.95

[Source: Penguin Group] In 1845, just seven years after his escape from slavery, the young Frederick Douglass published this powerful account of his life in bondage and his triumph over oppression. The book, which marked the beginning of Douglass's career as an impassioned writer, journalist, and orator for the abolitionist cause, reveals the terrors he faced as a slave, the brutalities of his owners and overseers, and his harrowing escape to the North. It has become a classic of American autobiography.

This edition of the book, based on the authoritative text that appears in Yale University Press's multivolume edition of the Frederick Douglass Papers, is the only edition of Douglass's Narrative designated as an Approved Text by the Modern Language Association's Committee on Scholarly Editions. It includes a chronology of Douglass's life, a thorough introduction by the eminent Douglass scholar John Blassingame, historical notes, and reader responses to the first edition of 1845.

To order: Episcopal Books and Resources, online at or call 800-903-5544.

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