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Episode 12: “Preserving the Future” – Frankly: Faith and Culture in Brooklyn

Canon John speaks with the Right Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis. Bp. Jennifer is the first Black woman elected bishop of a diocese and, to her knowledge, the first bishop with a degree in historic preservation. Bp. Jennifer first reflects on her experience on September 11, 2001 at Trinity Church on Wall Street, where she was attending an event that day and where Canon John then worked, which leads to a broader discussion of managing mission in a context of trauma. The focus of the conversation becomes the faithful stewardship of aging church buildings and the question of what preservation ultimately means to distinct communities. Bp. Jennifer’s ultimate challenge for churches is to shift the paradigm from transactional to transformational relationships with space users and to engage in mission-driven leadership informed by the priorities of racial justice, social equity, and upholding human dignity that have emerged with renewed emphasis in the crucible of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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