April 19, 2016

Reflection on Missional Voices 2016

This last weekend, I had the privilege of participating in the Missional Voices 2016 conference at Virginia Theological Seminary. The organizers of this conference are current students at the seminary. I have to start out by saying how impressed I was by what they created. This was, by far, one of the better conferences I've been to in quite awhile. It was an important event for the Episcopal Church.

I admit that I am biased. The organizers invited me in early on, asking for opinions and later on requested that I moderate two of the panels while sitting on another. That aside, I thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from participating in the remainder of the conference as an attendee. The speakers represented a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives. From Stephanie Spellers to Jane Gerdsen, each inspired and taught those of us attending. The environment was hospitable and well-organized and all of the communication (before and throughout the event) was clean and clear. The worship was thoroughly rooted in the Anglican tradition, executed with our historic sense of doing this well, and drew from a variety of current contemporary expressions.

I've been to so many conferences over the last two decades. The most gratifying are those that from which I walk away with a sense of two things. First, I walk away more convinced that I am not alone–that there others with similar passion and conviction about the good news of God across the country. Second, I walk away inspired to be bold enough to chase a dream, take risks and to employ new ideas I've learned of. For all of this Missional Voices was a success.

Thanks to all the seminarians that made this happen, especially Alan Bentrup and Christian Anderson. And thanks to Virginia Theological Seminary for being a wonderful host for such an important moment for so many of us.

Missional Voices 2017 is already coming together.  Subscribe to their newsletter and follow online to stay up to date on further developments.