When I became President of Journey to Baptismal Living, I adopted the crow’s nest of a ship as the vantage point from which I would lead. From the crow’s nest on a ship, you can see both where you have been and where you are going. JBL is like a ship that floats on baptismal waters. For many years it has visited ports of call through training, workshops, and an Annual Gathering of Catechumenate Practitioners. The winds are shifting across our land and it is time for a new course to be set. It is time for me to leave the crow’s nest and for someone new to look back to where JBL/NAAC has been and steer the ship in a new direction.
From my vantage point, it is clear that training must adopt a new format, primarily online. Our congregations have been thrust into new ways of being communities of worship in the time of a pandemic. It was not sought after or planned for but the need opened up many new ways of being church. As a society, and indeed, around the globe, we do not yet know what “normal” will look like in a post-pandemic time, but we are living into it day by day. JBL must be pro-active, living into this new normal.
The catechumenate is deeply rooted in personal relationships among people of faith and the sensory actions of the rites centered within the gathered worshipping community. Again, the pandemic requires a deep reimagining of how personal distancing will re-form the process within congregational practice.
Current JBL works in process include the continued development of trans-denominational rites, the development of a short-term course to introduce the process to seminary students, and the development of online videos to reach a number of audiences. The monthly blog and enews are the primary outreach tools at this time.
As the winds shift, it is time for new leadership, so I am stepping down from the JBL Board. JBL needs a leader with the skills to address these emerging needs and continue to guide the ship into the future.
Thank you for allowing me to captain the ship for this brief time.
Living in hope and buoyed by baptismal waters,
Outgoing JBL President