Director of Mission for the Episcopal Church announced

April 26, 2004

The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold, announced April 26 the appointment of the Very Rev. James B. Lemler as Director of Mission, expressing confidence that the right person had been found for the position. “I am delighted and pleased that Dean Lemler has accepted this very important position which is crucial in giving direction to the mission energies of our Church,” Griswold said. “His broad experience in overseeing and assisting others in articulating program that carries forward Christ’s continuing ministry of reconciliation will serve us all well in the days ahead.” Lemler, currently serving as Dean and President of Seabury-Western Theological Seminary and its Seabury Institute, likewise expressed enthusiasm about the appointment: "This is indeed an important time for mission awareness and initiative in the life of the Episcopal Church at virtually every level, and I am pleased to serve in this capacity. I am thankful for all the communities of faith which have prepared me for this work, including congregations, dioceses, a college chaplaincy, an Episcopal school, and Seabury-Western Theological Seminary. I look forward to the future mission of our Church with great joy." Having performed significant public ministry and served as a leader for the Episcopal Church at the diocesan, provincial and national level, Lemler has helped to shape the mission of the Episcopal Church in chairing roles for the Standing Commission on the Church in Metropolitan Areas and the Standing Commission on Domestic Mission and Evangelism. He is widely called upon as a teacher, writer, conference leader, preacher, and consultant in areas of congregational development, leadership development, education, spirituality, and mission. His experience also includes consultation and leadership in philanthropy and stewardship with various foundations and the Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes, and in education through the National Association of Episcopal Schools and the Council of Episcopal Seminary Deans. Nationally recognized as a presenter and educator in congregational development, Lemler helped to launch the 20/20 Vision for domestic mission and congregational life in the Episcopal Church, a movement which works towards embracing fully the stated mission of the Church and is a goal that General Convention adopted in July 2000 to contribute to the growth and vitality of the Church and its congregations. Lemler will take up the post in late August leading the program staff at the Episcopal Church Center in the areas of Anglican and Global Relations, Congregational Development, Ethnic Congregational Development, Migration Ministries, Peace and Justice Ministries, Women's Ministries and Ministries with Young People. He will also serve as a member of the Management Team of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, the corporate entity of the Episcopal Church. The Director of Mission Interviewing Committee included: the Rt. Rev. Arthur B. Williams, Jr., convener; the Rt. Rev. Carol J. Gallagher; Katherine Tyler Scott; the Rev. Howard R. Anderson; Patricia C. Mordecai; the Rev. Canon J. Patrick Mauney; and John Colon, staff.