Mission Council Ministry Network Nominees

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Joseph Rose

I am a Clergy Person

Please describe your current involvement in the Episcopal Church in Connecticut using first person, narrative language.

I’m a recently ordained priest who serves as assistant rector at St. James’s in West Hartford, a vibrant, inclusive, fun-loving, child-friendly community of faith that strives to be Christ’s hands and feet in the world. I also serve on the Camp Washington board. I am the clergy convener of the ECCT Community Garden Ministry Network, which encourages and support communities with starting vegetable-garden ministries to address food insecurity in their neighborhoods. Together, we facilitate, educate, and expand agrarian ministries as mission and discipleship around Connecticut. The food grown in these gardens goes to shelters, kitchens and myriad partners that help feed people who would not usually get access to fresh, unprocessed food. I have deep roots in ECCT, where I went through the ordination process and was ordained. I am also a graduate of Berkeley Divinity School at Yale and served as the executive director of Trinity Church Wall Street’s retreat center in West Cornwall for seven years before I was called to St. James’s last year.

Please describe your current involvement in your local community and any wider community engagement using first person, narrative language.

In my role as assistant rector at St. James’s, I am frequently asked to imagine new ways we are being called by the Holy Spirit to engage and be collaborative in the local and wider community in creative and life-giving ways. In recent months, we have erected a greenhouse on church property in order to continue donating fresh vegetables to feeding programs into the winter. Meanwhile, after realizing that diapers aren’t covered under benefit programs like Women Infants and Children (WIC) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), despite being a basic material need necessary for infant, child, and maternal health, I am leading a new outreach effort we are calling a Baby Shower for Jesus, asking parishioners to bring diapers and baby products to the church leading up to Christmas to be donated to families in need. I also convened and have helped facilitate St. James’s ongoing Sacred Ground discussions on faith and race.

Please provide a brief personal statement as to why you are suited to this position using first person narrative language.

I believe that I am suited for service on the Mission Council because I bring an entrepreneurial spirit to building community and discipleship at a time of great transition and possibility. I am eager to support Bishop Mello in leading ECCT’s common participation in God’s mission forward in healing, reconciliation and love. I have learned that trusting God’s restorative love requires watching and listening and acting with intention, especially on behalf of those who have for too long felt no one is listening or acting on their behalf. I am also a former award-winning journalist who brings several storytelling skills to ministry. In a time when division, change, and weariness often seem to flow heavier than the waters of baptism, I feel called to serve in ways that challenge people to look for God in places where they wouldn’t normally look. Places that point toward hope through the Good News of Jesus Christ. As we move into a post-pandemic era, I believe this is an incredibly exciting time to be participating in God’s mission in ECCT.