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Boom! The Episcopal Church is on the move

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The Episcopal Church develops new programs to support the Jesus Movement

HUNTINGTON, WV, US, February 13, 2017 / -- The Episcopal Church is on the move. Within the past year, the Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has called on his clergy to carry forward the Jesus Movement, sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. Bishop Curry declares the Jesus Movement in all that we do. At work. At school. At home. In all that we say and do. And his message is being heard.

The Episcopal Church is responding to Bishop Curry. Stephanie Spellers, Canon for Evangelism and Reconciliation within the Episcopal Church, has begun to develop new programs across the United States in support of the Jesus Movement. These programs energize clergy and lay leaders through educational programs, mission work and worship resources. In sum, Canon Spellers is actively engaging Episcopal clergy with various ways and means of evangelism.

There are countless new programs, supporting the Episcopal Jesus Movement. For example, Mary Parmer, executive director for the Gathering of Leaders has a powerful program for evangelism called Invite, Welcome and Connect ( Parmer’s program allows the local church a pragmatic approach to engage newcomers by laying out a step-by-step plan. And it’s working.

Furthermore, another Episcopal group, the Episcopal Relief and Development, is also getting involved with educational programs on Asset Based Community Development ( This program educates clergy to better utilize local assets to partner with and support their local communities. In addition, the Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Churches (, a leader among Episcopal networking groups, continues to build on this Jesus Movement theme through their annual conference and programs promoting education, networking and financial stewardship.

Beyond national programs, there are diocesan movements as well. For example, Bishop Mike Klusmeyer (Diocese of West Virginia - has injected new strategies, indicating that we must implement new approaches to ministry. He does not suggest that we dismantle or disavow our traditions but instead that we compliment them with new ways, engaging folks with the good news of Jesus Christ. His ideas must be working. His diocese is growing.

In this same vein, Bishop Andy Doyle (Diocese of Texas) is on the leading edge of future church with his book, Amplified Church and its sequel, The Small Batch. Bishop Doyle declares a new and vibrant church through a new missional paradigm; by reaching out beyond and in compliment to the traditional way of doing church. He shares numerous efforts where small batches of passionate Christians are sent out from traditional churches to share the good news in completely new ways. Perhaps at a local Starbucks. Perhaps at a laundromat. The possibilities of doing church outside of Sunday mornings and outside of ‘bricks and mortar’ are endless. This is the new church paradigm.

Missional Voices ( is yet another exciting venture. Within the past few years, a group of Virginia Seminarians thought it would be cool to seek and share new and unusual ministries across the United Sates. Their message has bloomed. Their voice is being heard and they have developed an annual spring conference at the Virginia Theological Seminary to enhance this effort. Stay tuned. Much more to come.

Another exciting movement within the Episcopal Church turns to the social media world and digital church. The Rev. Mark Brown (diocese of Texas) is on the leading edge of this movement. Brown, a social media guru, developed the world’s largest online religious following (Digital Bible) with millions of followers. In addition, he developed a virtual Cathedral online; and he has continued to minister through his own page which is followed by nearly 500,000. Mark is expanding on these developments. Stay tuned.

One may think that these ideas are exclusively geared to larger parishes or those with deep pockets. This is not true. Trinity Episcopal Church ( in West Virginia is a prime example. Trinity (ASA 110) has exploded in spiritual and quantitative growth within the past few years, engaging several of the ideas mentioned herein. Trinity expanded their weekly worship services from three to seven. They expanded their weekly attendance from 120 to nearly 300. And with 7 new outreach ministries, they now connect with nearly 40,000 people per year – serving hot meals, distributing groceries, counseling folks and worshipping with folks from all walks of life.

In summary, amid so much angst and divide within the world, it’s nice to know that the Episcopal Church envelops red states, blue states and all states. And furthermore, that the Episcopal Church is unified in the Jesus Movement, sharing the good news of Jesus Christ - here in the U.S. and beyond.

Rev. Dr. Chip Graves
Trinity News
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