The Living Church Foundation elected five new members at digital meetings held October 21 and 22. The Rt. Rev. Dr. Samy Fawzy Shehata, the Bishop Coadjutor of Egypt; former Episcopal Church staffer Heidi Kim; and Episcopal priests Colin Ambrose, Clint Wilson, and Paul Zahl were elected to thee-year terms on the foundation. The foundation also discussed a recently completed strategic plan for the Living Church’s ministries, which outlines goals and objectives for the next five years.
“Our ministry continues to flourish, praise God,” said Christopher Wells, TLC’s Executive Director. “Our financial position is the best we have seen in more than 15 years, but we remain cautious amid the ongoing pandemic and recognize the need to increase reserves and grow the endowment. Our publishing and teaching initiatives are burgeoning, but several of them are brand new and bear careful watching and nurturing in the months and years ahead. Our ecclesial work in service of unity is gaining traction across the Communion, but many projects have yet to reach completion, and sundry forces of division continue to distract and redirect limited energies that should be aimed at building up, not tearing down.”
Bishop Samy Fawzy Shehata was elected as coadjutor to Bishop Mouneer Anis in April, and will play a crucial role in the establishment of the Anglican Communion’s newest province, Alexandria. Shehata holds a doctorate in theology from the University of Birmingham and was principal of the Alexandria School of Theology. He has represented Anglicanism in dialogue with Cairo’s Al Azhar, the Islamic world’s preeminent religious faculty. Shehata also served on the Global South Anglicans’ Study Group on Enhancing Ecclesial Responsibility, which prepared a covenantal structure for deepened fellowship, now being considered for adoption by Anglican churches around the world.
Heidi Kim is director of the Melrose Family Center for Servant Leadership at the Breck School, an Episcopal school in Golden Valley, Minnesota. She previously served for five years as the Episcopal Church’s staff officer for racial reconciliation. Her ministry in the church and in education has focused on the stories of survivors and disrupters of oppression and marginalization and the struggles of faithful people to speak across difference while remaining in community. “I look forward to being part of such a culturally and theologically diverse group of leaders,” said Kim of her election to the foundation. “I know that my own ministry will be enriched by the experience.”
The Rev. Colin Ambrose is vice rector of St. George’s Episcopal Church in Nashville. A graduate of Nashotah House, he worked for Lehman Brothers and was the CFO of a construction and remodeling company before answering a call to ministry. Ambrose has a passion for building teams, and inspiring leaders, seeking organizational excellence for the Church in its mission and ministry.
The Rev. Clint Wilson, rector of St. Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church in Louisville, Kentucky, has been a regular writer for The Living Church and a Covenant contributor for several years. “The Living Church,” Wilson said, “has provided me with resources for spiritual and intellectual formation, a community of faithful colleagues and friends, and opportunities to grow and serve as a leader in The Episcopal Church. I am grateful for their vital ministry and am thrilled to give back to this organization that has blessed me in manifold ways.” Wilson was formerly ecumenical officer for the Diocese of Tennessee and is a member of the board of the American Friends of the Anglican Society in Rome.
The Very Rev. Dr. Paul F. M. Zahl is the author of 11 books (his latest was recently featured on The Living Church Podcast), and is an active contributor to Mockingbird Ministries. He was dean of the Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham, Alabama and of Trinity School for Ministry, and also served in parishes in New York, South Carolina, and Maryland. He has degrees from Harvard, the University of Nottingham, and the University of Tübingen. Now in retirement in Florida, he and his wife Mary have three sons, all of whom are in full-time Christian ministry. He is a frequent contributor to The Living Church magazine.
“The ministry of the Living Church is really needed,” Zahl said. “And tho’ it sounds like a cliche, it is needed now more than ever. That is because the Living Church is not monochrome. It allows for a historic Anglican comprehensiveness that can be at risk in a polarized, ideological period. Talk about ‘inclusive’: the Living Church is that!”
In addition to the five new foundation members, the Rt. Rev. John Bauerschmidt, Richard Clements, and the Rev. Thomas Kincaid were re-elected to the board, while Kathleen Alexander, the Rt. Rev. Dr, Stephen Andrews, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Christopher Cocksworth, Neva Rae Fox, The Rev. Dr. Wesley Hill, The Rev. Canon Jordan Hylden, Catherine Illingworth, the Very Rev. Dr. Ian Markham, Daniel Muth, and the Rt. Rev. Dr. Jo Bailey Wells were re-elected to the foundation.