THE REV. NANCY YEE

 

 RESPONSE TO QUESTIONS

The most significant aspect of my spiritual journey to enable me to be an articulate and genuine voice for God and the church is how God has graced me with the spiritual gifts of discernment, wisdom and knowledge. God has also given me a prophetic voice to speak into situations of injustice and sin.

God has guided me by using circumstances, books, education and people, to teach me the ways of God andto learn to hear God’s still small voice, nudging me along the path to spiritual maturity. I have been told I have profound insight into situations, as well as foresight. Also, I have been given discernment to guide people spiritually. Someone once said that out of my mouth, flows the river of life. I also have been given much self-insight and self-awareness, a trait known to be a good mark of leadership.

I have demonstrated skills of being a caring bridge builder. I have built bridges between individuals, allowing healing in relationships, keeping the faith community from fracturing. I seek to create an atmosphere of open dialogue and discussion where people can speak the truth in love to one another so everyone feels like they’ve been heard and are capable of discerning God’s will.

As a priest trained in intentional interim ministry, I have the experience of helping congregations answer three basic questions in times of transition: Who are we? What is God calling us to do? Who is our neighbour? I am confident I can enhance and add to the diocese’s current mission and vision.

I see myself as a life-long learner, which means I am open to learning new ways of doing and being. Therefore, I am comfortable asking for feedback and advice from others and in learning new ways to meet the challenges of ministry. I tend to be eclectic and pragmatic in my approach to problems.

I value the team approach to ministry. I believe that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The synergy generated when individuals work together in love, freedom and creativity in cooperation with the triune God and one another makes for an unstoppable and alive church. I have led many types of small groups and have organized and led the Alpha Course. I feel very comfortable in leadership positions and in developing other leaders. I value and encourage leadership development among both clergy and laity. I would like to work with others to create a shared vision, not imposing my will in any given situation but to facilitate, inspire and ensure a collective will and vision emerges through skilled dialoguethat includes skills of reflective inquiry and advocacy (Peter Senge’s work in The Fifth Discipline).

Disagreement and conflict are natural in human relationships. We don’t need to be afraid of conflict. As a community, we need to encourage different perspectives, viewpoints, thoughts and feelings to beexpressed if we are to learn and discern God’s will. It’s important that everyone gets a chance to speak their truth and feel like they’ve been heard. It’s also important to help people deal with their emotionalreactions and not have them contaminate the dialogue with unspoken agendas, assumptions and feelings.

Getting people to talk face-to-face is important. I am skilled in facilitating dialogue, encouraging love and grace, speaking God’s truth in love and pointing people to God, reminding them who God is and who we are, simply sinners saved by grace. I would cultivate a spiritual approach to disagreements, remindingGod’s people of the fifty-nine (59) “one another’s” in the New Testament.

Although, I cannot change people’s hearts, I can speak God’s word into conflicted and tense situations that allows God’s grace to work. God promises that God’s word will not return to God void. Therefore, as long as I hold God’s truth, promises, will and heart before the people, I trust God will work in people’shearts to produce spiritual fruit.

The church’s mission is intricately and inextricably tied to the missio dei, God’s mission in the world. God’s mission in the world has been revealed through the revelation of God’s written word and the word made flesh, the Lord Jesus Christ. God’s mission in the world is continually being revealed through the Holy Spirit. As God’s people immerses themselves in God’s written word, as we forge and maintain a vibrant and intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and understand, respond and act on the nudgings of the in-dwelling Holy Spirit, God’s mission will be revealed in the hearts of God’s people. And when God’s people have open hearts and spirits to a renewed sense of God’s mission, God will reveal andinspire a people to be on the move for God, to take action in the world, while the Spirit produces spiritual fruit in God’s people. As God’s people take action, God’s kingdom will be established. And when that happens, God’s mission in the world will be fulfilled.

I believe God’s mission in the world is about a two-letter prefix, “re”. God’s mission is always to renew,reconcile, reform, re-develop, and re-vitalize. When things are dying, when life becomes dry and stale, when the people wander in the wilderness, when the church is in exile, when situations look dark and overwhelming, God says, forget the past. I am about to do a new thing. Do you see it? (Isaiah 43:19)

We are in missional times. And missional times requires a missional bishop, someone who values risk- taking, innovation, creativity, while at the same time, upholding the rich faith and spiritual traditions received from the past. A missional bishop supports training for those called to be post-modern missionaries in our own back yards. But, most importantly, a missional bishop is a prayerful bishop whoprays daily for the church, listens for God’s voice in God’s word and in God’s people, and then moves with strategic focus, holding up the bronze serpent so the people will live while wandering through the wilderness.

I believe no one mark should be singled out as more important than others. There might be times one may take more importance, energy or focus as the Spirit inspires and guides. But, generally, all five marks of mission need to be held up as priorities and essentials if a diocese is to reflect God’s presence.

I will encourage healing by inviting, teaching, challenging, supporting and encouraging all Anglicans in the diocese to take concrete and incarnational steps towards reconciliation, as individual believers and as the body of Christ. I would lead the diocese in establishing a prayerful and strategic plan to ensure that the issues of reconciliation become part of the diocese’s agenda on a regular basis. I’d also like to see acurriculum developed to educate on and equip the church to deal with issues of reconciliation. I also would like to work with indigenous and non-indigenous Christian leaders to lay the foundation for self- government and self-determination within the church and in the broader community.

I believe reconciliation is the hallmark of discipleship for today’s church. Reconciliation is the work of the dominant non-indigenous culture. It won’t be easy or feel good. But, neither is chemotherapy. My intentions will be guided by Lilla Watson’s words in her work and experience as a New Zealand indigenous activist. She says, “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time.

But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” Our society and church needs to be free from our colonial racist past. Therefore, it is with utmost urgency we begin to reconcile ourselves to our indigenous people.

My ecumenical vision is about creating new relationships and entering into dialogue with others so thatour world sees the coming of God’s kingdom. It’s all about transformation of people and society so thatpeople’s lives experience healing in all ways. Holy conversations with ecumenical partners need to occur around mission and ministry work. Ecumenical relationships can spark community-wide organization to focus on missional transformation in our communities. Working together with other faith groups to deal with systemic issues that continue to marginalize others and enhance the lives of the poor, the marginalized, the immigrant and the vulnerable is the hallmark of my vision for ecumenical relationships.

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