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Academy for Parish Leadership

Academy for Parish Leadership

Equipping the saints for the work of ministry; Building up the Body of Christ

The Academy for Parish Leadership is a project of The European Institute of Christian Studies. Through APL, the Convocation seeks to deliver quality education to support lay leaders in all manner of leadership issues. 




Academy for Parish Leadership 2020APL 2020 Flyer  Register HERE  (no cost for this event)

"Living Out the Holy: Engaged Spirituality for Concerned Christians"

Join us  for the remaining sessions of APL 2020:

3) Saturday, 20 June:
10:00 Session 3: Racism and Reconciling the Beloved Community
16:00 Session 4: Youth and Children 

4) Saturday, 27 June:
10:00 a.m. Final plenary session, reporting back, next steps, worship.

The APL is online. (There will be no cost for this event.)

Christian faith calls us to seek more from our own spiritual lives than reflection or comfort. The example of Christ we are called to follow engages directly with the plight of the vulnerable, with unjust social structures, and with the injury caused by human failings, whether to other people or the goodness of God’s creation.
Building on last year’s highly successful “Experiencing the Holy” gathering, the Academy for Parish Leadership in 2020 will move its focus from the internal to the external, exploring the spiritual and theological foundations for Christians engaging critical issues facing society and humanity.
This edition of the Academy for Parish leadership will offer a range of speakers and resources on four topics at the center of the Convocation’s work and witness in the world:
• Refugees and Migrants
• Climate and Creation Care
• Racism and Reconciling the Beloved Community
• Youth and Children: The Church of Today
Participants in APL 2020 will have opportunities to explore more deeply a variety of these topics, and to benefit from the perspectives of speakers motivated by their faith commitments to engagement in activism and witness. We will explore both the spiritual underpinnings of that engagement and concrete, practical steps that we and our parishes can take to live out that commitment in 21st-century Europe.

Read Bishop Edington's 2019 Convention address here

Register here

Registration is open

Program details: Speakers

The online sessions will include speakers from within and outside of the Convocation who are motivated by their faith commitments to engagement in activism and witness. We will have online breakout sessions to discuss and explore both the spiritual underpinnings and look at concrete, practical steps so that we can live out our commitment in 21st-Century Europe.

Task Force on Racism and Reconciling the Beloved Community - Saturday, 20 June, at 10:00 a.m.  Register here

The session will include sacred stories from task force members on their experiences with inclusion and exclusion, an introduction to the Convocation wide survey on diversity and inclusion.

Our presenter, the Rev. Edwin Johnson, will speak on Building Beloved Community, the Episcopal Church’s framework for reconciliation and healing the wounds caused by racism. This will lay the ground work for delving deeper into the roots and modern day manifestation of racial discrimination in Europe.

The Rev. Edwin Daniel Johnson is a self-described “smiling, dancing, fitness-obsessed Jesus-Freak who is taken by the way that God continues to manifest in the world.” Of Costa Rican and Montserratian heritage, he is fluent in Spanish and has a deep love and passion for the music, dance, and cuisine of Latin America and the Caribbean. He is an avid salsa dancer and teaches and performs Latin, Brazilian and African Dance with Moves and Vibes dance company. He also enjoys training and participates in weightlifting and fitness competitions.

Rev. Johnson serves on the Board of Directors for Breakthrough Greater Boston, an Academic Enrichment program that has recently expanded to Dorchester after over twenty years of service in Cambridge. He spends the rest of his time with friends, family, his wife Susan Lenn Johnson and their sons.

Edwin Johnson is one of the leaders of the church-wide effort to realize the Presiding Bishop’s vision for Beloved Community; in this work he is the chair of Presiding Officers’ Advisory Group on Beloved Community Implementation. He is the rector of Saint Mary’s Church in Dorchester.


Task Force on Youth and Children: Saturday, 20 June at 4:00 p.m..   Register here

"Youth and Children in our church today - the future or the present? Do they belong? How can we engage them? How can we learn with and from them?"

Hear from speaker Bronwyn Clark Skov, Officer for Youth Ministry, The Episcopal Church.

Bronwyn will share about the impact of child/youth hood on one’s participation in church as an adult, ideas for a faith formation plan strategy, as well as some best practices and models that are doing well across The Episcopal Church.

Bronwyn Clark Skov serves as the Officer for Youth Ministries for The Episcopal Church. She is passionate about lay leadership, mentoring young people in their Christian journey, and empowering adults who work with youth. Currently she is the primary coordinator for the triennial Episcopal Youth Event and the General Convention Official Youth Presence. In her spare time, she volunteers in her home parish and is an active member of the National Ski Patrol. She works from her rural southern Minnesota home where she lives with her recently retired spouse, a dog, a cat, two goats, and four fish.

She was recruited into part time parish youth ministry in 1992 and served in one parish for 12 years, a second parish simultaneously for three years, and as the coordinator for a regional rural youth ministry collaborative for three years. In 2004 she was appointed to the Bishop of Minnesota’s staff as Canon Missioner for Lay leadership. During her five years serving at the diocesan level she worked with denominational youth leaders as the Provincial Youth Ministry Coordinator for The Episcopal Church in Province VI.

Bronwyn has been an occasional writer for Passport Inc., at d365.org, a daily online devotional for teens. She co-collaborated with Sharon Ely Pearson in publishing Marked for Mission (CPG 2014), a collection of instructions and prayers to equip teens for mission in the world. She offers keynote addresses, workshops, and sermons when invited.



Previous Sessions:

1) Friday, 5 June:
19.00-20.15 CET Plenary session.
Opening remarks by Bishop Mark Edington, and overview of what the task force is, who will be presenting, what to expect out of the sessions. 

2) Saturday, 6 June:
10:00 Session 1: Refugees and Migrants
16:00: Session 2: Climate and Creation Care

The Taskforce on Stewardship of Climate and Creation Care:

“Our speaker is the Rt. Rev. Marc Andrus who has served as the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California since 2006. Bishop Marc has a BSc in Plant Science, Master in Social Sciences and a Master of Divinity from the Virginia Theological Seminary. His leadership has focussed on key issues relating to immigration reform, health care and climate change. His work includes involvement in the Paris UN Climate Conference (COP 21) in 2015 and Marrakesh in 2006 (COP 22) . Together we will explore why Episcopalians should care about climate change and how parishes can help to lead a reversal of anthropogenic climate change.”

Task Force on Migrants and Refugees:

Shari Brown (Executive Secretary of the Churches' Commission for Migrants in Europe):  As a dual national, Shari has enjoyed living in South Africa, Britain, Germany and now Belgium. She first experienced this transition in her teens when her father was banned by the South African Apartheid government and the family moved to the UK. Following German and Theology studies in Scotland, she had her first exposure to meeting refugees through Caritas in Stuttgart, Germany. She also spent time in Cape Town managing the Peace Education Programme of the Quaker Peace Centre. For many years, Shari coordinated the work of Restore, a project of Churches Together supporting refugees and asylum seekers in Birmingham, England. This involved raising awareness, befriending and advocacy. In 2018, Shari became the Executive Secretary of the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe, based in Brussels. As part of the 2019 Lambeth Awards, the Archbishop of Canterbury presented Shari with the Langton Award for Community Service for her contribution to the reception and integration of refugees. She is a member of the Methodist Church, though more recently has been worshipping at the Episcopal Church in Waterloo.


Previous APL topics:

Church Finance and Governance
Leadership Development
The Nuts and Bolts of Financial Management
Management of God's Assets: People, Property, and Treasure
The Theology of Stewardship
Christian Formation / Charter for Lifelong Christian Formation
Our Baptismal Call to Mission
Speaking to a New World: Communications in the 21st Century  

Come and Grow: Say "yes" to God's Call to Service
Experiencing the Holy


Licensed Lay Ministry

All baptized persons are called to be ministers, according to their different gifts. This ministry can be exercised in a variety of different ways among the laity and the ordained. Do you feel called to serve God and the Church? Read more here about licensed lay ministry in The Episcopal Church.