Futurists are paid by corporations to “look over the horizon” in order to position a company for long-term success in an environment marked by an accelerating sense of disruption, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. In contemplating the future of the Episcopal Church in thirty years (which is farther out that most of us think, in terms of the civic institutions we love and support), I imagine that the Great Pandemic we are living through will be marked as the disruptor setting the trajectory for what our Church will look like in 2050.
Living through this time of incredible disruption, sadness and loss makes it hard not to feel that we are moving into a time of unprecedented threats to our way of life and to that of our children and grandchildren. Drawing upon my own authenticity as a leader, I believe that staying connected as a church community and as productive members of our local communities makes most sense for generating hope and finding ways forward that are truly life-giving. To my own belief in staying connected, I add a theological motif which informs my own spirituality: “God’s future stabs inextricably into the heart of our present” and that is both the source of our hope and the divine challenge to set a trajectory for our church we can all get behind and support as we re-imagine ourselves in a more hopeful future.
In order to create and sustain the necessary connectivity that makes our church community a powerful witness to God’s sustaining love, I urge all of us to stay engaged, remain faithful to the hope we have in Christ, and pray for the well-being of all our members as we go forth into God’s future.
Gareth Evans serves as the rector of St. Barnabas. He is an inspirational leader who brings significant pastoral experience, a depth of reverence in worship, and a relatable preaching style.