Catfish and the Mission of God

October 22, 2014

If you've never considered the role of catfish in the mission of God, you'll have a chance at the Diocese of Chicago's annual convention, November 21-22 in Lombard.

The Diocese's convention is known for resembling a big, noisy, joyful family reunion, and during the Friday and Saturday morning workshops, convention goers will have the chance to find out just what fascinating relatives they have.

The people of St. Chad's Episcopal Church in Loves Park, outside Rockford, have begun helping to feed hungry people in their congregation and community by catching catfish. The church has a tank where the catch is kept, and families sign up to take a share home.

On Friday morning at 10:30 am, leaders from St. Chad's will talk about how their new outreach ministry got started and how it has made a difference in their community. They'll be joined by leaders from St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Peoria, who will talk about that congregation's food pantry and other outreach programs.

"No matter what God is calling your congregation to do, it's likely that other congregations in the Diocese of Chicago have advice, insight, or ideas to share," said Andrea Mysen, coordinator of this year's convention workshops.

Convention keynote speaker Sara Miles will offer a workshop, "Glorifying Strangers," on Friday morning at 10:30 am. Miles, the founder and director of The Food Pantry and director of ministry at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco, will discuss the theology of welcome and how to build churches that that are transformed by the gifts of strangers.

Lay leaders and clergy from congregations across the diocese will lead all of the other convention workshops, offered at 9 am and 10:30 am on Friday and 9 am on Saturday. No advance registration is required, and signs giving workshop locations will be posted near the convention registration tables in the Westin Lombard.

See the entire list of convention workshops and talk with Andrea Mysen at or 312.751.4203 to learn more.