Curacies are vital for training up leaders in our diocese. For three years, Fr. Chris Borah served as a curate under Fr. Ben Sharpe at Christ Church Winston-Salem. The Christ Church curacy program brings together next-generation leadership development, spiritual formation, church planting, and mission growth. When Chris speaks of the curacy, he values both the humility and contentment that he learned. “I will always be thankful for Fr. Ben and the experience will always pay dividends. He allowed me to develop without micromanaging me and he encouraged me to use my gifts.”
Rev. Sharpe affirmed the value of having Chris as a curate to his own parish: “It keeps me nimble and fresh. We could not pay Chris what he was worth to our church. He was such a tremendous blessing to the life of Christ Church.” He says that life-on-life apprenticeships are the means by which he hopes to foster “spiritual deepening (soul), relational growth (heart), pastoral competencies (strength), and an intellectual life (mind)” in the life of curates at Christ Church.
While all curacies don’t necessarily lead to church planting, Rev. Borah’s curacy at Christ Church led to the start of a church plant in Beckley, West Virginia, in the spring of 2020. The opportunity to learn from a seasoned rector equipped him with wisdom and confidence to face the difficulties of church planting even during this unprecedented time of quarantine. He intends to launch public services in the fall of 2020.
Churches and church plants in Richmond, Elkton, and Staunton (Virginia), Buffalo (New York), Lewisville (North Carolina), and Beckley (West Virginia) are all led by former curates. If church planting is at the heart of our diocese, a robust curacy program is its heartbeat.