This collection of essays was written by a group of priests that are relatively rare in the Episcopal Church—priests under 35 years of age. In 1997 only 296 Episcopal clergy were from the group commonly known as Generation X; they comprise only 3.5% of the ordained people in full time ministry in the Church. Inspired by that statistic some GenX priests and seminarians organized a conference called Gathering the NeXt Generation, which was held at Virginia Theological Seminary in June 1997. These essays, while not the actual papers given at the conference, are the result of that conversation and the ones that continue among GenX priests in the Episcopal Church.
The range of issues for GenX priests and for their ministry into the new millenium are important ones for the whole church. As we approach a clergy shortage (due to retirements) in the Episcopal Church, will we continue to discourage young men and women from entering the ordination process, asking them to come back when they have some life experience? Some contributors also consider new models of ministry: the return of the concept of curacy, the possibilities for bi-vocational ministry and the renewal of campus ministry. Others help us look through the eyes of GenX priests and parishioners, including those who are Black or pregnant, and see the Church through a very different lens. For all who care about the future of the Episcopal Church, this volume, written in the voices of those who will be our future—is a must-read.