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Profiling the PB nominees: Bishop Douglas

iandouglaswebThe Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas has served as the Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut since 2010. Prior to his election, Douglas served as Professor of Mission and World Christianity at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge. He simultaneously served as associate priest at St. James’ Episcopal Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Douglas has an impressive resume of involvement in various domestic and international Mission Boards and serves as a consultant and resource for the worldwide Anglican Communion. Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, awarded Douglas the Cross of St. Augustine, the highest honor in the Anglican Communion, following his work on the Design Group for the 2008 Lambeth Conference. Having earned his PhD in Missiology from Boston University, Douglas continues to be a sought after lecturer and speaker nationally and internationally.

During his tenure as bishop, Douglas has gently begun to shift the tides in the Diocese of Connecticut. As the first bishop to be elected from outside the Diocese, he has spent time asking thoughtful questions about the identity of the parishes and Diocese, and their relationship to one another. Douglas has instituted subtle but significant changes, such as no longer going by the “Diocese of Connecticut,” but using “Episcopal Church in Connecticut,” to emphasize the relationship between parts of the whole. President of the Standing Committee, The Rev. Alex Dyer commends him for “amazing work in a land that was deeply entrenched.”
Of particular interest in the work Douglas has taken on is the creation of the Taskforce for Reimagining the Episcopal Church in Connecticut, or a local version of TREC. His efforts address the primary issues of common identity as Episcopalians and how they can best work together as many parts of a single unit. However, his stated question, “What structures will help us as Episcopalians come together to serve God’s mission?” perhaps shows the limit of Douglas’ creative capacity. While administrative changes will be important in moving the church forward, reimagining the Episcopal Church cannot be merely an exercise in restructuring.

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