Hello from Dr. Luisa Bonillas
Hello friends of EES! I pray that you and yours are well and that this season brings you hope. I am so excited to be the new Multicultural Missioner. I look forward to working with Day and the Board of Directors in helping people in formation for leadership in the church become Episcopal Evangelists. On November 9 and 10, I attended my first EES Board of Directors meeting. We met virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are praying for the opportunity to meet in person in the spring.
Our two days of meetings brought much thoughtful discussion and time for story sharing. I am grateful to be part of this group. I was impressed with the board members’ willingness to discuss and acknowledge that there are many things that Episcopalians don’t know about Evangelism in a non-white, non-upper middle-class context. The dioceses where we are experiencing growth in the Episcopal Church point to the fact that many people of color are joining us as Episcopalians, and they are bringing rich experiences with them. This richness translates into evangelism that looks very different than what white, upper middle-class Episcopalians are used to. The directors are actively working to help themselves become more open to new ideas and ways of thinking and they are looking for that to translate into a more inclusive reading of applications.
The members of the Board of Directors are a diverse group, and they are committed to helping EES become more accessible and visible to seminarians and students in local formation programs in all parts of the Episcopal Church. I am incredibly excited for the opportunity to encourage great innovation in evangelism both inside and outside of the church.
I have been part of the Episcopal Church for 25 years and I have seen the uncomfortable response that Episcopalians experience when one speaks of evangelism. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has brought evangelism to the forefront, and I could not be more grateful. Pandemic times have changed our lives in innumerable ways, let us continue to make changes inside and outside of the church. It is time for all Episcopalians to embrace evangelism as we seek innovative ways to care for our neighbor.
May God’s blessings continue in your life, and may you feel the love that Jesus Christ offers to each of us.
Luisa E Bonillas, Ph.D.