Bishop Hughes is looking for people who will dream and who will pray together and who will work together and be in conversation about what the future of our church in northern New Jersey might look like. (Time: 3:34.)
This is Bishop Carlye Hughes of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, and I want to talk with you about dreams and messages. I've been thinking about these quite a bit because we have a tendency to believe the dreams and messages about the church or the future of the church come primarily to the leaders of the church. So that is something that bishops would get or clergy would get or maybe the wardens of a church would get. And I have got to say that that is contrary to anything I have ever experienced in the church and it's especially contrary to what I've experienced in our diocese.
Wherever I go – doesn't matter if it's a Sunday service or a special service or celebration, doesn't matter if it's a meeting or a gathering of an entire congregation, if it's sitting down with two or three people or sitting down with two or three hundred people, or even at convention – wherever I go I am bound to hear from people in this diocese tell me about their dreams for the future of the church or their very specific dream about a particular ministry, somewhere in our diocese or perhaps in their own congregation.
And the thing that I usually do is tell people, "Go for it! Do not wait for me!" If you wait for me it might take forever for that dream to get a chance to lift off. But the message of that dream – trust that that came from the Holy Spirit and go for that dream. Start wherever you are, talk with the people in your congregation, the people who live next door to you, the people in your family. Talk with the people you know about that dream, assuming that God is with you, and start taking the steps toward that dream.
I am pretty excited about those kinds of dreams and those kinds of messages, because I believe in my heart that it is time for our diocese to ask that on a large scale. What is it that God is giving us to dream about as a diocese? What are the special messages that God is sending us right now to consider about what the future of our church in northern New Jersey might look like?
And so I'm looking for dreamers. I am looking not just for dreamers, but I'm looking for people who will dream and who will pray together and who will work together and be in conversation for a year to a year and a half, as we work towards answering that question. The easiest way to be a part of that is to consider serving on a diocesan committee. To serve on Standing Committee or the Board of Trustees or Diocesan Council. Those groups have already been drawn together by me at least once so that they can get to know each other well. And starting in February we'll begin meeting on a regular basis. They are the group of people that we're going to dream together with, and some of them are rotating off their term, and we need new people to come on to term.
So I ask you, are you a dreamer? If the answer to that is even remotely yes, if you're excited about thinking of the future of our diocese and what God wants to do with us, then I ask you to stand for one of those offices and come dream with us.