When I was in Phoenix in Arizona I met Rev. Matthew Marino. Matt is the Episcopal Canon of Arizona for Youth and Adult Ministries. He serves out of the diocesan office in Phoenix, where we met for the first time in November last year. We had a delightful time and connected very easily.
Matt has 30 years experience leading youth ministry in a variety of contexts (rural, suburban and urban) and across the economic and ethnic continuum. He has developed a variety of training programs including the two-year Youth Ministry Apprenticeship training for full-time youth directors, curriculums for Young Life's multi-ethnic Student-Staff and volunteers, and the Remuda Ranch Center Aftercare Recovery Workbook. He has a Master’s in Educational Leadership from Arizona State University and was a member of Fuller Theological Seminary's first Urban Youth Ministry Cohort. Matt is Canon for Youth and Young Adults, leads the YMA training and a church plant team at St. Jude's, Phoenix. Matt's passion is developing a generation of Christian leaders in the Anglican tradition. Matt and Kari, his bride of 23 years, have two high school aged children. As a family they like to sail, read and eat. Preferably all at the same time . . . and in San Diego.
Matt began reading the ACT 3 Weekly shortly after we met up in November. He wrote this to me just a few days ago:
Thank you for this ACT 3 Weekly series on "Churchless Christianity." I had a twitter conversation last night with a college kid who left my ordination service (in July of 2011) and got into it with three guys on his college campus who were arguing, "We don't need the church to follow Christ." It seems to me that if church is just a good pot of coffee, a message and a few songs, then those people might be right: they don't need a lot to be that attractive meeting place for a church that is trying so hard to attract them.
If the visible church is what it was originally: A gathering OF the body of Christ FOR the body of Christ, then this wouldn't even be a