Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Bishop Nominee Neal Michell+ Address to the Diocese of Dallas

I have been hunting for pre-walkabout material on the nominees for the next bishop of Upper South Carolina. This is something everyone should do in order to know these guys better. I came across an address to the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas by the Rev. Canon Dr. Neal Michell given on 10/16/2009. I will excerpt some of it, but for those wanting the full text, here is a link.

He starts with a picture of himself and the diocese,
"I stand before you as one of the most hopeful and hope-filled people in the Diocese of Dallas.
Take a moment and look around you. As you look around you will see why I am so hopeful. What you will see are leaders. This room is full of some of the best leaders in the Episcopal Church. I wish you could spend a week with me. If you could, you would spend time as I do with some of the best leaders of our diocese. You make me hopeful for our future.
If you were to spend a week with me, you would talk to a number of clergy from other dioceses, many wanting to come serve in the Diocese of Dallas. Every week I get a call from one or more priests who want to come here because they have heard of all the exciting things going on and what a positive place for ministry it is. We are truly spoiled here in the Diocese of Dallas because this is such a positive, innovative, and supportive diocese to be a part of."

Okay, I don't want any anonymous comments suggesting I move to Dallas (find out why at the bottom).

Later on, Michell+ touches on something else of interest to us in SC. Our diocese has been working to create Spanish language ministries and he notes the progress being made in the Diocese of Dallas. Experience with these congregations and the Spanish liturgy is a plus. Interestingly, they have an active Kenyan and Tanzanian congregation as well as a Korean congregation in the mix.

"• Funding Fr. Noe Mendez on a full-time basis at Holy Nativity, Plano
• St. Mary’s, Irving – Fr. JJ Bernal – from about 75 on a Sunday to about 300 in the Hispanic service; parish called him as rector
o Several families have been added to the non-Hispanic congregation
• St. Luke’s, Dallas – Aquilino Lara, a graduate of Instituto Teológico San Mateo had about 15-20 on a Sunday when he came to assist there less than a year ago; they
now are drawing 75 people per Sunday.
New Hope Church – Korean, meets at St. Andrew’s, Farmers Branch
• Fr. Augustine Lee – they have about thirty in that congregation, and they have a young man that is interested in pursuing holy orders.
Trinity, Dallas, on Hillcrest has over 150 Kenyans worshiping there weekly. They have recently added a worship service targeting Tanzanians. They are currently ministering to about 65 persons.
Ascension, Dallas, is sponsoring their first Sudanese Aspirant for Holy Orders – he is attending Seminary of the Southwest in Austin. He is one of the Lost Boys of Sudan."

And how diversified and improved is their discernment process?
"• We currently have 21 people in the discernment process.
• Nine are scheduled to graduate this coming spring.
o Five are under the age of thirty
o Seven are under the age of forty
o Four are pursuing the Diaconate
o 19 the priesthood
o 7 are women; 14 are men
• In addition, we have four candidates in the Titus Project for rural areas"

Hopefully they are more organized than our process.
Later in the Strategic Planning section he addresses my concern,
"• We have made streamlined the discernment process. As I mentioned above, over half of those in the discernment process are under the age of forty. Those in the discernment process will tell you that our discernment process is more supportive and less adversarial than it has seemed to be in years past."

And speaking of the strategic plan,
"• We have continued to plant churches. We have planted five churches and several new communities of faith, targeting Latinos, young adults, Koreans, and African Immigrants. Approximately ten percent of our average Sunday attendance is traceable to these new communities of faith.
• We are have increased the number of people going on short-term mission trips.
• We have been more intentionally involved in more and more local outreach. We are leaders in the City of Dallas Justice Revival.
• We are revising the way we do communications.
• All Saints Camp continues to be a place where leaders are developed and people deepened in their relationship with Christ.
Have we accomplished the goals we set for ourselves? No. Are more passionate about the gospel as a diocese? Yes. Have we made great strides? Yes. We are a remarkably different diocese than we were nearly nine years ago when we first embarked on our Strategic Plan. We are more mission oriented, more evangelistic, more strategic at every level."

and towards the finish,
"We have not been ritually stringent. Some prefer 'smells and bells,' others use guitars and drums. But the overarching character of our diocese is that we have a passion for the gospel and the apostolic faith, and the unity of the Church is of paramount importance. Apostolic faith and Catholic Unity. "

He appears to be committed to unity, and as Canon of the Ordinary, he has experience with the work of the diocese.

I have one reservation however, and that is, will he hold it against me that I can't stand the Dallas Cowboys?

No comments:

Post a Comment