The Episcopal Church in Colorado spans the entire state – all 104,000 square miles of it. From its rugged mountains to the seemingly endless miles of prairie, Colorado is home on the one hand to some of the nation’s fastest-growing cities and, on the other, to remote, one-stoplight towns that in the winter can be nearly inaccessible. Colorado has elected senators from the major political parties, legalized recreational marijuana, and has voter-approved, radical restraints on taxation. In short, Colorado is a diverse state. And nearly all this diversity is reflected in the congregations of the diocese and in the character of the diocese as a whole.
The Episcopal Church in Colorado comprises 107 worshiping congregations of all shapes and sizes, theological perspectives, and liturgical approaches. Congregations range from small, rural and regional parishes, to mid-sized and large urban and suburban churches, and everything in between. Our communities run the gamut from rural to urban, mountain resorts to the farms and ranches of the valleys. We are rich and we are poor. Some of us are conservative. Others are progressive.
Some of our large congregations have vital ministries, both in their communities and in the wider world. Small congregations have equally significant ministries that sustain their communities in a variety of ways, some in the midst of poverty and declining populations. Our ministries with young adults, teens, and children are of utmost importance, and we aspire to expand and deepen these. Each congregation has gifts to offer the diocese. We each seek support from the diocese.
In our lives together, we have experienced seasons of division and of shared ministry. We have discovered that the more we share time, prayer, and worship with each other, the stronger we are together. Opportunities to come together, at our regional gatherings, to our Annual Convention, to times of learning and growing – through, for example, the Church Development Institute – help us understand each other and our common call to live out the Gospel. The primary challenge for our new bishop? Our continuing need to strengthen relationships, both within our congregations and among our many ministries – across a diverse geography, theology, and experience – in ways that hold us together even as divisions threaten to pull the world around us apart.
The Episcopal Church in Colorado is searching for a leader who will nurture the connections we have found together but who can also continue to push us forward into new areas of ministry. We envision a leader who will help us engage the modern world, offering meaning and hope in new and exciting ways.
We seek a bishop who will provide guidance and spiritual care for our clergy and congregations by being grounded in a life of personal prayer and spiritual practice, and worship in community. We believe that such a bishop will inspire us for our common journey – more so than a CEO or an ideological banner-carrier.
Over the past several years, we have found uncommon richness in our diversity. That diversity is in our worship itself, from the most traditional liturgies to praise services and services of healing. We celebrate the Eucharist, Morning Prayer, and Evensong. That diversity is in our music. It is in our ministries. It is in our communities themselves, and, yes, in our theological and political outlooks.
Nonetheless, when we come together at the Annual Convention Eucharist, we acknowledge our life together in the Body of Christ.
It is in our common worship, our Book of Common Prayer, that we find hope and grace. It is in this awareness of our life in the Body of Christ that we are drawn to be Christ’s hands to feed the hungry and clothe the naked. It is in this awareness that we seek our next leader, teacher, pastor, and friend.