Raising Up Missional Leaders
The word “curate,” in its original sense, was a synonym for the word priest. It stems from the idea that parish clergy are charged with the “cure” (or care) of souls. In recent years the term has been applied more specifically to newly ordained priests serving as assistants to an experienced rector. Curacies provide experience and on-the-job practical training to equip the curates for their future ministries. In an effort to raise up more missional leaders, the Gulf Atlantic Diocese is partnering with congregations to develop three types of curacies:* Church Planting Curates, Antioch Curates, and Missional Curates.
Church Planting Curacies
Church planting curates have been a part of our diocese for several years. In this model, a curate begins by assisting in a congregation while at the same time developing a vision for planting a church. Over time the curate recruits team members and launches a new church plant while remaining in a relationship with the mother church. Church planting curacies are five years long. For more information contact Michelle Herbst.
The church in Antioch, a thriving center of early Christianity whose witness continues to this day, is well known for its evangelistic fervor. It was also a church with diverse leadership. Luke tells us that the leadership was comprised of Black Africans, North Africans, and Jewish converts to Christianity. In short, the diversity of the leadership reflected the diverse Roman Empire that they had been called to Evangelize. Antioch Curacies are a strategy for developing a more vibrant clergy leadership pipeline among ethnic minorities (Black, Latino/a, Asian, and Native American) in the Anglican Church of North America and the Gulf Atlantic Diocese. We seek to provide these leaders with an initial job in parish ministry and to help ensure their long-term placement in a congregation. Antioch Curacies will be two years long with an optional discernment year. For more information, please contact the Rev. Taylor Ishii.
The goal of Missional Curacies is to strengthen the missional vitality of the host parish and provide on-the-ground leadership training for future church leadership to the curate. Traditional curacies have often focused on the skills necessary to maintain the systems of a congregation. Missional curacies differ because they have an outward focus with the goal of mobilizing the congregation to reach the lost in their community. Missional Curacies will be three years long. For more information, please contact the Rev. Canon Mark Eldredge.
We already have a number of church planting curates in place in congregations around our diocese. The Diocesan Council will be working this year to shape the details and funding strategy for the launch of Antioch and Missional Curacies towards the end of 2021.
*When a lay-person undertakes one of these positions the term “residency” will be used instead of “curacy.”