By Jack Hanstein and Jim Goodson
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry reminded the Brotherhood of St. Andrew that its mission is “vital to our church” April 7 during the 133-year-old ministry’s annual national conference.
“Don’t grow weary, Brotherhood of St. Andrew,” Bishop Curry told about 150 brothers and guests at the Windemere Resort and Conference Center in Mesa, Arizona. “Your core mission is the same as the core mission of the church.
“It’s the same mission that began on the shore of the Sea of Galilee when Jesus told two brothers named Peter and Andrew to drop their fishing nets and to ‘come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men.’”
Bishop Curry is honorary president of the brotherhood.
“When I was rector at St. James’ Episcopal Church in Baltimore, we had a dozen ministries and 11 of them were women’s guilds,” he said. “And each one had a particular Sunday to be recognized.
“But my favorite Sunday all year long was when our one and only men’s ministry — the Brotherhood of St. Andrew — came marching in on their Sunday. We had about 100 men in their blue blazers standing together as one. They were impressive, like a mighty army of God. That’s what I think of when someone mentions the Brotherhood of St. Andrew.”
Bishop Curry’s address also came with a warning.
“The marriage of religion and culture has ended in divorce,” he said. “The golden calf has been raised again. This self-centeredness will destroy us if we do not turn to God and his Son.”
The presiding bishop said that while he’s a follower of Jesus Christ, “I’m not the best one. I know that. We need men who are better than me. That’s why you mustn’t get weary, brothers.”
Brothers Chart a New Path
The Brotherhood of St. Andrew’s National Council met in business sessions for three days to develop a new path for the future of men’s ministries in the Episcopal Church.
Council members participated in discussions and reviewed resolutions designed to put men’s ministries on a path to becoming more inclusive and welcoming to newcomers, especially millennials and men from all walks of life within the Episcopal and Anglican Communion.
More than 60 members of the brotherhood attended this National Council meeting.
A four-hour ministry fair offered presentations by Episcopal Scouting Ministry, the Lead Like Jesus Movement, the Mankind Project, Christian Mentors Network, Episcopal Recovery Ministry, the Veteran Friendly Congregation Initiative, and Episcopal Restorative Justice.
Brotherhood President Jeff Butcher reminded the council of the commitment made at General Convention, when the brotherhood was charged with “developing and expanding ministry to men throughout the Episcopal Church and to mentor and raise up the next generation of young men and youth.”
A large portion of the council meeting was dedicated to a series of resolutions and bylaw changes designed to streamline and improve how the brotherhood conducts its business in the 21st century. The council approved several bylaw changes designed to enhance the organization’s relationships with the Episcopal Church Center, bishops, and diocesan offices throughout the church.
Jack Hanstein is senior vice president of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew, and Jim Goodson edits its publication, St. Andrew’s Cross.