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Presiding Bishop urges congregations to observe Theological Education Sunday

1/24/2007
[Episcopal News Service]  Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has asked all congregations of the Episcopal Church to observe Theological Education Sunday on February 4 "in a focused way" and as an occasion to "recognize and celebrate those who teach and learn in their search for a deeper knowledge and understanding of God."

Further information about Theological Education Sunday is available here.

The full text of the Presiding Bishop's letter follows:

For congregations of the Episcopal Church

My brothers and sisters in Christ:

In this season of Epiphany, I give thanks for the ministries of all the members of this Church and the ways in which each baptized person is working to transform this world into a home for God's people. This mission of healing and reconciliation we share is not something we were born knowing or understanding, and we recall that one of the great and ancient roles of the church has been to educate and form its members.

In the early church, those about to be baptized took three years to prepare for their ministries. Since 1999 we have celebrated the first Sunday in February as Theological Education Sunday, an occasion for the Church to emphasize lifelong learning for its people.

This last June, the 75th General Convention requested the Presiding Bishop to continue to support this special day, not only to encourage education in seminaries but also to invite congregations, dioceses, and other networks throughout the church to join in this mission. I encourage you to remember that education is the right and responsibility of all the baptized, in a process that continues for as long as we have breath.

I ask you and your congregations to observe Theological Education Sunday this year on February 4 in a focused way. Recognize and celebrate those who teach and learn in their search for a deeper knowledge and understanding of God (find bulletin inserts and liturgical resources at http://www.teforall.org/tes.html). Make some new provision for education in your own life and in the life of your parish or diocese, and avail yourself of remarkable resources available on the Web and through our congregations, dioceses and seminaries (see http://www.teforall.org/seminaries.html and http://www.teforall.org/resources.html).

Additionally, my colleagues at the Episcopal Church Center offer Groundwork III, a Guide for Lenten Study and Action: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/groundwork.htm.

I would ask you as well to charge your vestry or local governing body to remember and observe Resolution A125 from the 1982 General Convention to provide 1% of your parish's net disposable income to one or more of the 11 accredited Episcopal seminaries. Our seminaries are expanding their mission to provide lifelong education for all the ministers of this Church and they need and deserve your support now more than ever.

May this journey of learning be an ever-exciting and deepening adventure in your life in Christ.

Your servant in Christ,

Katharine Jefferts Schori