EDS at Union

Interview with Bishop Jeff Lee

These questions are meant to help foster a conversation around the podcast between Dean Kelly Brown Douglas of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union and the Bishop Lee of the Diocese of Chicago. To listen to the full podcast please go to our website here.

On this episode of EDS at Union NOW, Dean Kelly Brown Douglas talks with The Rt. Rev. Jeffrey D. Lee, the twelfth bishop of the Diocese of Chicago. Bishop Lee shares his experience serving as the pastoral and spiritual leader of a diocese like Chicago, which faces daily challenges such as gun violence, the opioid epidemic, and a growing population of young people who are finding spiritually in institutions outside of the church. They talk about his critical work of bringing people and communities together and his vision for the future of the Episcopal Church.

Discussion Questions:

  • Bishop Lee talks about his job as preventing people in his diocese from becoming numb to the everyday violence around them. He gives the example of members of a church an impoverished, African American neighborhood who literally stand on the corner to prevent violence there. Are there places in your life where you are numb to the suffering in your own community? What are ways that you can show up in that space?
  • Bishop Lee and Dean Douglas discuss the meaning of the cross in understanding violence and suffering in our world. Whether the violence in your community is as obvious as the gun violence in Chicago or not, how do you respond to violence in your community? How do you understand the cross to be meaningful in that situation?
  • Dean Douglas says that when the faith community shows up, transformation happens. Have there been times in your life or your community of faith where you have seen that transformation? When or where did you and your community show up?
  • Bishop Lee compares the current decline in the official membership of the Episcopal Church to a bird molting. What does your church experience/lack of experience look like? How do you interpret the pruning of the church that Bishop Lee identifies?
  • Bishop Lee says that the church is grappling with not owning God. Do you feel like you have an ownership of God in your church? What does the Good News of Jesus Christ mean to you?

Bishop Lee is a member of Bishops United Against Gun Violence. They are a group of over 100 Episcopal Bishops who are advocating for change to address the gun violence epidemic in this country. You can learn more here.

For further information please go to the EDS @ Union website or listen to our other podcasts here.