“The Parish is the Issue”
Reflections on Loren Mead’s New book, Continued
By Alan Mead
As I continue reading Loren Mead’s new book, “The Parish is the Issue” I find myself marveling at how Loren, because of time and place, found himself at the center of significant societal change. He writes of beginning his ministry as an Episcopal priest in a growing industrial area outside Charleston, South Carolina where he began to learn how to be a parish priest. He moved from there to a mission parish in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in what was becoming the Research Triangle Park of Chapel Hill, Raleigh and Durham, just as the Civil Rights movement was beginning.
In the early chapters of this fascinating book Loren continues to reflect on what he was learning and how he was learning it, as he found himself moving from a therapeutic model of ministry to something new and exciting, a systems approach that he and others were learning about in the intellectual “soup” where he found himself in the Research Triangle, where he and others worked together at figuring out how to lead during times of significant change, including racial change and integration.
The early chapters of this book show Loren becoming involved in those changes, including marching with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others, experiencing first hand the realities of change brought about by this movement and integration in the South.
As Loren describes learning to minister within a rapidly changing church and society, he and others had to figure out how to move from what wasn’t working to something that would work, and that led him to broaden his circle of connection ecumenically rather than only within the Episcopal Church and to learn also from people on the cutting edge of system learning in government, education and industry, all working together in this new place within the Research Triangle where he found himself.
Click of the book title to order Loren Mead’s book “The Parish is the Issue”.