On Leadership, past and future: our year begins
  Date posted: Wed, Sep 14th, 2016

Lyndon Shakespeare dissertation pubslihedAlmighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ was lifted high upon the cross that he might draw the whole world to himself: Mercifully grant that we, who glory in the mystery of our redemption, may have grace to take up our cross and follow him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen

14 September, 2016

Feast of the Holy Cross

Dear Friends,

The 2016-2017 academic year opened last night here at Mercer to the sound of hymns being sung, prayers being offered, poems recited, learning and insight shared, and many friends engaged in a kind of procession around the corridors of this school, now in its 66th year. It was a grand night.

In the company of their friends and family, we dedicated the new Domenic & Annette Ciannella lounge and seminar room. The Reverend Domenic Ciannella (died December 11, 2015) taught here at Mercer School, among the almost innumerable contributions he made to the life of the Diocese of Long Island over a long and loving ministry. Through it all he walked in love with his dear wife, Annette (died March 3, 2016), and their children. This refurbished room, dedicated now as a student lounge and a space appropriate for seminar-style classes, will remain as a tribute in their name to the joy and power of service given in the name of Jesus Christ.

A centerpiece of the evening was the inaugural lecture for the new year provided us by the Reverend Lyndon Shakespeare, recent interim rector of Saint Anselm's Church in Shoreham. Father Shakespeare was awarded the Ph.D last year by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, he having participated in study for several years as a member of the Archbishop's Examination in Theology. His dissertation is being prepared now for publication by Cascade Books and should be available soon (http://wipfandstock.com/being-the-body-of-christ-in-the-age-of-management.html) under the title Being the Body of Christ in the Age of Management. Last evening he noted the proliferation of books, podcasts, workshops and more offering definitions of leadership and advice on how to lead. He invited us for the moment to draw back from all of these, all the way back to the 13th century thought of Saint Thomas Aquinas on the virtue of prudence, translated by Father Shakespeare as "good sense," as of central importance in leading well. The audio of his lecture will be provided soon here on the Mercer School website.

As our offerings for the year continue, our School of Theology's annual Guidebook has been mailed to all the congregations of the Diocese of Long Island. Copies are available by request by emailing to dmuscarella@dioceseli.org. In addition, the Guidebook is available any time online by clicking on its cover image on the right on the Mercer site homepage (www.mercerschool.org). Please examine the Guidebook and come to visit often.

This Saturday will see the first meeting this year of the Diocese of Long Island's School for Ministry, preparing women and men for ordained service in the Church for the world. I invite your prayers for our students and instructors as the year opens in earnest.

Finally, this year's theme for our programming 

Leadership in the 21st Century: how do we reach the future together? 

will continue through June 2017. Several events to open up the topic remain to be scheduled. If you have a particular interest in leadership, a question you would like explored, a speaker you would like us to invite, please be in touch with me at jmcginty@dioceseli.org. Your input is most welcome. On our Mercer Facebook page right now are two questions on which your viewpoints are solicited:

• How do you define leadership?

• Is there a distinction between authority and leadership? If so, how would you express that distinction?

Please take a moment to share your wisdom with others at https://www.facebook.com/MercerTheology/

Late summer blessings to you and yours,

John McGinty

Canon for Formation

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