Bishop Hughes talks about how the concept of "boldness" has emerged as a guiding principle both as a diocesan community and as individual members of it. (Time: 4:00.)
This is Bishop Hughes in the Diocese of Newark. And I want to talk with you about boldness. And specifically how we’ve been using that word “bold” in our diocese, how we’ve begun to use it.
Several months ago, members of our governing bodies (that is the Standing Committee, Diocesan Council and the Trustees of the Diocese) began meeting, meeting to talk about where we were as a diocese and where we felt called to be. One of the things that we discussed was the number of assets that we had in the diocese, the resources that we had in the diocese, the ministries that we’re doing already and the ways they needed continued support and the ways some of those were changing. We also talked about the kinds of ministries that we want to take on in the future, where we felt that we had become complacent with things that had happened in the past and assumed that those were continuing forward. And meanwhile, all around us, the landscape had changed and some of those old ministries weren’t fitting any more. And we needed to think our way through what were the needs of today.
And one word we kept coming back to in all of those many months of discussion was the word “bold.” There was a genuine desire by the members of the committees to see our diocese, this large and diverse faith community that we are, to see our diocese step out in boldness into the world. That we don’t want to be the best-kept secret in Christianity anymore! That we feel like we’ve got something special and unique to offer and we want to offer that in bold ways. To boldly stand up for those who need someone to speak for them. To boldly be there for those who are hungry or who do not have a place to stay. Or who are fresh out of prison or headed into prison. To boldly commit to the needs, the spiritual needs of our very young and our very elderly parishioners.
That word boldness kept coming back so often that eventually a statement was crafted and it sounds like this:
We believe that God is calling us to bold faith, bold love and bold actions and that together we are creating communities of love.
Bold faith, love and action – that sounds like something that followers of Jesus Christ would do. And creating communities, new communities – sometimes shoring up communities that have always been there but reaching out to new communities of love is something that is so needed in the world that we live in today.
I want to invite you to think about that statement and to think about boldness. As you go about your day, wherever you are – at work, at school, in your neighborhood, in your home – what does it mean to have bold faith for you? What does bold love look like? What does taking bold actions look like? And then, how do we together – how do we together create communities of love in this diverse place that we live that is Northern New Jersey?'
I hope that word sticks with you; I’m looking forward to seeing us explore it. We have only just begun to think about this and I invite you into thinking about it with us. Boldness.