Mission Center: Mission Leadership

Kathryn Nishibayashi

Biographical Information:

Name: Kathryn Nishibayashi
Age: 24   
Race/Ethnicity: Asian-American and White
Location: Glendale, CA
Field/job: Graduate student in Human Development and Education, and a part-time elementary school teacher aide



Interview Questions:

  1. What do you believe the Church’s mission is?
    I believe the Church’s mission is to serve all people, regardless of age, gender, race, or sexual orientation and encourage other’s to do the same.

  2. How can women, especially young women, contribute to this mission?
    On the whole, women have been marginalized members of society. Women need to feel confident in sharing their voices and experiences to educate others about their struggles and successes in life. The lives of women can serve as examples for the rest of society.

  3. How are you living out the Church’s mission?
    In 2005-2006, I participated in one of the Episcopal Church-sponsored Domestic Internship programs. My year really helped open my eyes to the injustices and prejudices in the world. I discovered a passion for helping those people who are often rejected in society. As a future educator, I am a strong advocate for children and children’s issues.

  4. How did you first become involved in the Episcopal Church? 
    I am a cradle Episcopalian. I don’t know life without the Episcopal Church as part of it.

  5. What makes you want to stay involved in the church?  Why does it hold your interest/why do you keep going back?
    I love the Episcopal Church. It often feels like I am part of a large family. I love that I could go to any place in the country (and many parts of the world!) and be able to walk into an Episcopal/Anglican church and feel comfortable. I love that there are so many women in the Church that I consider role models.

  6. What would make you leave?
    I would leave the church if there was a decision to stop allowing women or homosexuals to become priests and bishops in the Church.

  7. What are your concerns for or about the church?  And how would you improve it?
    I am concerned about the Church’s status within the Anglican Communion and what may happen if we are asked to leave the Communion. I’m not sure how I would improve the situation.

  8. What are your thoughts about the Episcopal liturgy or worship style in regards to the feminine vs. masculine depictions of God? 
    I love the traditional liturgy. I know many younger people don’t like the BCP or 1982 Hymnal but I love it and the consistency it provides. I have always envisioned God as an older father figure. I’m not opposed to feminine depictions but I am more comfortable and familiar with male images of God.

  9. In what ways has the church, as an institution, ever encouraged or discouraged you, as a woman, in living out your faith convictions?
    With all the publicity that the Episcopal Church gets surrounding homosexuality and other decisions made, it can be hard to speak out and say “I’m Episcopalian” without facing reactions of “Oh, isn’t that the church that’s having lots of problems?” and feeling confident in identifying as part of that church. Then again, it’s important for those of us that do love the Episcopal Church to proudly speak about the positives it provides rather than dwelling on the negatives that tend to get more publicity.

  10. What advice would you give other young women in the church? 
    Speak out. The Church can learn a lot from us as young women. We need to be vocal about what we need and want from the Church.

  11. Do you have any suggestions on how the church could better engage, encourage and empower women?
    Allow for many opportunities for women to come together to discuss their experiences and find commonalities. If women feel connected, they will feel more comfortable sharing their stories. A group of women working together can be a lot more effective than women all working as islands working for the same cause.

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