The Rev. Edward Barnett
Current Position: Pastor
Congregation Membership: St. Peter's, Baldwin
Date and Year of Birth: 3/21/64
Date and Year of Ordination: 3/13/98
Associate Pastor, Prince of Peace, Dublin, OH; Vicar, Trinity, Northside Pittsburgh, PA; various music director jobs (including one with campus ministry at Northwestern)
Education and Earned Degrees (with institutions and years, most recent first):
1997 Master of Divinity, Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, OH
1997 Master of Arts in Church Music, Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, OH
1991 Bachalor of Arts (Music) West Virginia Wesleyan College, Buckhannon, WV
List up to five (5) current or past synod or churchwide activities that would inform your service as bishop of this synod.
Synod Council, Executive Committee, Conference Dean, Chair of the Conference of Deans, Outreach Committee
List up to five (5) current or past community-related activities that would inform your service as bishop of this synod.
President, Baldwin Interfaith Clergy Association
What gifts would you bring to the office of bishop of this synod? (1,000 characters maximum, with spaces)
I have a deep personal relationship with Jesus. He has shown me the wonders of his Body. If I am anything, I am certainly churchly. I genuinely enjoy the Body of Christ: being with the faithful, praying with all believers, and seeing our communion as the means by which God changes and sanctifies us. The Gospel bestows on us freedom in order to be honest with ourselves, one another, and church together. I have a historical perspective across ages. My experience in leadership of Congregations, Conference and Synodical committees and task forces grounds me in the life of our Synod. I often look for the “third way,” an alternative that detours around supposed impasses. Every time this happens, I’m amazed at the creativity of the Holy Spirit and the relentlessness of God’s grace.
What do you see as the principal challenge to this synod in the next six (6) years, and how would you address it? (1,000 characters maximum, with spaces)
Our difficulties did not begin in the last administration and they cannot be totally “fixed” in the next. We need to become aware of our deeply seated practices and habits, in order to begin the arduous task of changing for the better. Real repentance is never easy. “Re-formation” is something that is ongoing. In addition, it isn’t “throwing the baby out with the bathwater.” The Church that God calls us to be is at one and the same time something radically new and simultaneously the historic Church of the ages. After his resurrection Jesus is still the same Jesus he was before the Cross, wounds and all! The Cross of Christ is essential to being church. For us, that means, that we must confront who we really have been in order to allow those aspects to die in order that New Life is bestowed. If we don’t go directly at those problems, they will simply remain with no hope for the future.
Describe your leadership style. (1,000 characters maximum, with spaces)
I am direct, honest and thoughtful. I want to hear voices that are flat out contrary to my own. I recognize and prize that there is wisdom that goes beyond myself. I am collaborative and Socratic (i.e. I don’t mind playing the “Devil’s Advocate” in order to tease out better solutions). I am willing to deal with hard truths and am rather impatient when people avoid them. Once a decision is made, and made well, I have the fortitude to stand behind it. In all of this I’m dissatisfied with decisions that don’t accomplish anything. Decisions need to result in productive action. With my musical training and background, I seek to be a conductor, coordinating the gifts of a variety of constituencies and soloists. Sometimes this means practicing with particular groups alone, in order that the ensemble may be strengthened by the clarity of all voices.