All those interested in evangelism in New England are invited to participate in the Diocese of Vermont’s annual convention, “Go Tell It on the Mountains: Evangelism Vermont-Style,” which will be held at the Hilton Hotel in Burlington, Vermont, on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26-27, 2018.
Friday’s entire program, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., is devoted to plenaries and workshops on evangelism and would be especially interesting for outside visitors. Register here. While the convention title highlights “Vermont-Style,” it could just as well be titled “New England-Style.” Vermont is the least religiously affiliated state in the USA, but it is closely followed by New Hampshire and other New England states.
The Rev. Stephanie Spellers, Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Evangelism, Reconciliation and Creation Care, will keynote with two plenary presentations: ‘The Way of Love: Changing Lives, Changing the World,’ and ‘The Jesus Movement on the Streets.’ She will also preach at the Eucharist at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday.
Each of two workshop segments will feature seven workshops (some of them repeated) on these topics: Telling My Story; Sharing My Faith; Evangelism: Online and Incarnate; Evangelism with Younger Generations; Evangelism for Shy People; Evangelism through Healing; A Biblical Basis for Evangelism; Evangelism in Theological Perspective; Digital Evangelism; and Contemplation and Discipleship: Foundations for Evangelism.
In addition to Vermont Episcopalians, workshop leaders will include the Rev. Winfred Vergara, Missioner for the Episcopal Church’s Asiamerica Ministries, and Jeremy Tacket, Digital Evangelist for the Episcopal Church.
The October convention will energize Green Mountain Witness, Vermont’s evangelism initiative that began in early 2018 with conversations at Diocesan Council and the formation of the nine-member Green Mountain Witness Team, which includes lay people and clergy from around the diocese. Six members attended the Evangelism Matters conference held in Cleveland Heights in March 2018.
Vermont’s effort understands evangelism in the terms defined by the churchwide Evangelism Initiative: “Evangelism is the spiritual practice of seeing, naming and celebrating the presence of Jesus in people’s lives, and then inviting them to form or deepen their relationship with God in Christ.”
Well into 2019, Green Mountain Witness will catalyze congregational efforts in evangelism through workshops throughout the diocese. In addition to diocesan funding, Green Mountain Witness is supported by a grant from the Evangelism Initiative of the Episcopal Church.
Titus Presler is Vicar of St. Matthew’s Church in Enosburg Falls, Vermont, and Convener of Green Mountain Witness.