[Episcopal News Service – Austin, Texas] The 79th General Convention took steps during its triennium meeting to provide support for clergy and lay leadership development in small congregations.
The convention approved Resolution A022, which directs the creation of a Theological Education Networking Team (TENT) to “collect, assemble, evaluate and publicize” the resources in the Episcopal Church “for the training of commissions on ministry and discernment committees.” The focus would be on the “education, training and formation of leaders who serve in small congregations with a special emphasis on alternative theological education pathways.”
TENT would also work with others in “collecting, disseminating and encouraging the use of resources and best practices for identifying, educating and forming clergy and lay leaders of small congregations.”
The resolution grew out of the Task Force on Clergy Leadership in Small Congregations, which was formed three years ago at the 78th General Convention to “develop a plan for quality formation for clergy in small congregations that is affordable, theologically reflective and innovative.”
In a related move, the convention also approved Resolution A027, which authorizes a task force to “develop and implement a plan to provide need-based central scholarship funding to individuals” pursuing a theological education to serve as priests or deacons in small congregations.