ONGOING BLOGFORCE: What’s the Spiritual Role of Financial Giving?

BlogforcelogoOur BLOGFORCE continues this week with the following question:

“How has financial giving affected your spiritual life?

Anyone can participate in the BLOGFORCE!  Responses and abstracts are due by 5PM Central Time on Monday, October 3rd and the roundup will be posted on the 4th.

David Simmons
Acts8 BLOGFORCE Wing Commander


How do I participate in the BLOGFORCE?

Simply blog your answer on your own site, then:

1. Paste the code you can find here at the bottom of your post – note that it is code so you will probably need to switch to HTML view in your blog editor. It should look like this on your blog when posted or previewed:

2. Send the permanent link and a 120 word or less abstract to blogforce@acts8moment.org.  This should be done by no later than 5PM Central Time on Monday, October 3rd .  On Tuesday, the abstracts will be re-posted with links.  At that point, the provided code will point to the round-up page instead of here.

The editorial board of Acts8 reserves the right to decline submissions that are deemed offensive or do not uphold the Guiding Principles.

15 Ways to Reach Out on Social Media Sunday

social-mediaSunday, Sept. 25 is Social Media Sunday – a great time to let others know about the wonderful things that are happening at your church! The resource below offers 15 ways that members of your church can use social media to PROCLAIM the good news, ENGAGE your networks, and INVITE others to join you. Feel free to copy/share/reproduce/tweet/anything-that-works for you on social media or on paper.

social-media-insert.pdf

BLOGFORCE: What’s the Spiritual Role of Financial Giving?

BlogforcelogoIt’s the time of the year where churches start looking at stewardship campaigns and talk about the role of financial giving in our lives.  Therefore, Acts8 proposes this simple question to the BLOGFORCE:

“How has financial giving affected your spiritual life?

Anyone can participate in the BLOGFORCE!  Responses and abstracts are due by 5PM Central Time on Monday, October 3rd and the roundup will be posted on the 4th.

David Simmons
Acts8 BLOGFORCE Wing Commander


How do I participate in the BLOGFORCE?

Simply blog your answer on your own site, then:

1. Paste the code you can find here at the bottom of your post – note that it is code so you will probably need to switch to HTML view in your blog editor. It should look like this on your blog when posted or previewed:

2. Send the permanent link and a 120 word or less abstract to blogforce@acts8moment.org.  This should be done by no later than 5PM Central Time on Monday, October 3rd .  On Tuesday, the abstracts will be re-posted with links.  At that point, the provided code will point to the round-up page instead of here.

The editorial board of Acts8 reserves the right to decline submissions that are deemed offensive or do not uphold the Guiding Principles.

BLOGFORCE ROUNDUP – Gathering the Generations for General Convention

BlogforceVerticalLast week, the question was posed to the BLOGFORCE:

According the Pew Research, adult GenXers and Millennials now outnumber Baby Boomers by nearly 2 to 1, but when we look at General Convention the statistics don’t match up.  In what ways can the Church create opportunities to lift up younger leaders, lay and ordained, to serve as Deputies to General Convention?“

We received several responses, which are listed in the order received


Joe Parrish blogged:

In general, younger people are not leaders because they have few if any to lead. Some few lead teams to feed the homeless in some churches, with their parents’ guidance, but in general TEC itself does not have venues for younger people to lead, and that is reflected throughout the church; and vice versa. If we have ways to raise up leaders in our parishes, then we might find ways to raise up leaders in our dioceses, and thus for TEC. In general the leadership process has worked through the ordination process, and has omitted other access to potential leadership. So we thus need to find non-ordination ways of raising up young leaders. To wait until someone is a success in business, or has become a lawyer or accountant or doctor is to stymie young leadership. To seat a young person on a Vestry often omits the need to have people of substance and generosity in those seats, as younger people usually do not have earning power, jobs, or experience. And if they begin an endeavor right after high school, they are generally consumed by that. So the challenge is to find young entrepreneurs, self-starters. They will have a different orientation to the church as it exists, however, so learning how to guide a great ship with little ship experience is the challenge. We face the problem of putting new wine in old wineskins. So TEC needs to found new wineskins in order to nurture new wine. We need new parishes to be formed even if there are old ones still there. Opportunities need to be discerned in order to begin a process of producing new wine skins who will nurture new wine.

Andrea McKellar blogged:

Andrea McKellar was a first time deputy to the 2015 General Convention at the “youngish” age of 36 from The Episcopal Church in South Carolina. She shares her experience in being raised up as a leader in The Episcopal Church as an example of what works and challenges other dioceses to go out and find people. Young adults want to change the world but sometimes they needed an extra push to get a seat at the table.

Miranda Hassett blogged:

Many people in this age group have or will have young kids. Going to Convention without your kids is hard and sad, even if you’re lucky enough not to have to worry about arranging extra childcare at home, sacrificing family vacation time, etc. And going to Convention with your kids is quite expensive. Let’s do better next time with that second point?

In addition, there were many comments on the post on Facebook.  Some examples are posted anonymously below:

Schedule diocesan conventions outside business hours, provide childcare and focus clergy on looking for folks who know little about polity

Some equivalent of term limits. Only electable so many times.

Figure out a way so those of us who don’t work for the church professionally (either lay or ordained) don’t have to take so many vacation days to attend.

Make General Convention interesting and engaging and much shorter.

Not make it two weeks. If you even get a paid vacation, general convention takes it all. And if you have kids, childcare becomes an issue. And make a connection between General Convention and the parish-I have a hard time seeing that connection very often as clergy, much less as someone who doesn’t work in the church.

I had a clergy person I deeply respect tell me it took her five general conventions as a delegate to feel like she knew what was going on (and she’s intelligent and capable). I was still in high school when she first started going. Why is it so unwieldy that this is the case? That it takes years and years? Maybe we need to set term limits on delegates.

What is required is for our older saints to begin actively mentoring younger people and gradually and willingly stepping aside to allow new leaders to emerge. Not always easy, but our failure to learn to do this will be our undoing. It takes great generosity of spirit to give up ones prestigious, well earned position of authority to help the church breath and grow.

Respectfully Submitted,
David Simmons, BLOGFORCE Wing Commander


BLOGFORCE: Getting the Generations to General Convention

BlogforcelogoIt’s time to get the dust off the wings of the BLOGFORCE!  Here’s a question brought up by the Acts8 Core Committee:

“According the Pew Research, adult GenXers and Millennials now outnumber Baby Boomers by nearly 2 to 1, but when we look at General Convention the statistics don’t match up.  In what ways can the Church create opportunities to lift up younger leaders, lay and ordained, to serve as Deputies to General Convention?

Anyone can participate in the BLOGFORCE!  Responses and abstracts are due by 5PM Central Time on Sunday the 29th of May and the roundup will be posted on the 30th.

David Simmons
Acts8 BLOGFORCE Wing Commander


How do I participate in the BLOGFORCE?

Simply blog your answer on your own site, then:

1. Paste the code you can find here at the bottom of your post – note that it is code so you will probably need to switch to HTML view in your blog editor. It should look like this on your blog when posted or previewed:

2. Send the permanent link and a 120 word or less abstract to blogforce@acts8moment.org.  This should be done by no later than 5PM Central Time on Sunday the 29th of May.  On Monday, the abstracts will be re-posted with links.  At that point, the provided code will point to the round-up page instead of here.

The editorial board of Acts8 reserves the right to decline submissions that are deemed offensive or do not uphold the Guiding Principles.

BLOGFORCE Roundup – Where is Galilee for you?


A couple of weeks ago, our new Presiding Bishop Michael Curry released, “This is the Jesus Moment,” a video where he talked about a new movement for evangelism in the Episcopal Church.  In it, he took a part of the Gospel where Jesus and the disciples go to Galilee and used that area as a metaphor for the mission fields where we can spread the Word.  The question for this BLOGFORCE followed that thought:

“Where is your Galilee?

We received several responses, which are listed in the order recieved


Steve Pankey blogged “Where is Galilee? – An Acts 8 BLOGFORCE Challenge

I get to go to Galilee for at least an hour every week.  Sure, there are some weeks where I spend most of my time “out there,” the reality of full-time ordained ministry is that I sit at a desk a lot more than I thought I would.  But even when the week has nothing but study, sermon prep, and administration to offer, I know that at 9am on Thursday morning, I’ll enter the Galilee that is Mrs. Davis’ Kindergarten class.

Kit Carlson blogged “Where is Your Galilee? — An Acts 8 Blogforce Challenge

Going to Galilee weekly at our local coffee shop, where Jesus shows up in many different guises, as people join me for coffee and a chat.

Andrew Leigh Amanda LeAnn Bullard blogged “Onward to Galilee: The Mission Field Within Us

When we speak of evangelism we often think of a one-way path of information. Andrew Amanda turns this model around as they describe their experiences of oppression within the Episcopal Church and the formation in the Gospel that they’ve found in the mission fields others treat as foreign ground. Through it all they challenge us to ask ourselves on the way to Galilee if we’re making the Gospel too small. Are we ready to give up our expectations and privileges, and set aside our power and judgement to follow the one who set aside all heavenly glory to enter a relationship with us? Do we dare to offer the unthinkable Gospel of mutual transformation in the name of Jesus Christ?

Kevin Morris blogged “My Galilee

My response takes the form of a poem that I wrote while reflecting on moments in my ministry and the places that I have been called to serve.

Nurya Love Parish blogged “My Galilee: What I Haven’t Been Telling You

Galilee may be a lot of different places for me (none of which I have been writing about, although I’d love to). Or it may be just one: a healthy church in a healthy creation.

David Simmons blogged “Saving the Shire

In the Lord of the Rings, the Hobbits represent the reader.  They leave home and venture into legend, returning to transform their community.  The Christian Story has been sanitized to the point where it has lost power for those who are looking for meaning.  Those of us who have been immersed in the divine story of Christ have the duty and ability to return and transform our communities.

Robyn King blogged “There is a balm in Galilee

Most of us live with, care for, or love someone with a chronic health condition. May Galilee be a place where the Church can be healed of it’s blindness and ableism; a place where all of God’s children are encouraged to participate in the ways that best suit them.

Respectfully Submitted,
David Simmons, BLOGFORCE Wing Commander


BLOGFORCE challenge extended!

DUE TO THE EVENTS OF LAST WEEK, ACTS 8 IS EXTENDING THIS BLOGFORCE CHALLENGE FOR ANOTHER WEEK.

Two  weeks ago, our new Presiding Bishop Michael Curry released, “This is the Jesus Moment,” a video where he talks about a new movement for evangelism in the Episcopal Church.  In it, he takes a part of the Gospel where Jesus and the disciples go to Galilee and uses that area as a metaphor for the mission fields where we can spread the Word.  This got some of us thinking at Acts8 about where our Galilee is.  So the question for this BLOGFORCE follows that thought:

“Where is your Galilee?

In other words, where do you see a place that the Gospel needs to be proclaimed that you believe we can reach?

Responses and abstracts are due by 5PM Central Time on Sunday the 22nd of November and will be posted on the 23rd.

David Simmons
Acts8 BLOGFORCE Wing Commander


How do I participate in the Blogforce?

Simply blog your answer on your own site, then:

1. Paste the code you can find here at the bottom of your post – note that it is code so you will probably need to switch to HTML view in your blog editor. It should look like this on your blog when posted or previewed:

2. Send the permanent link and a 120 word or less abstract to blogforce@acts8moment.org.  This should be done by no later than 5PM Central Time on Sunday the 22nd of November.  On Monday, the abstracts will be re-posted with links.  At that point, the provided code will point to the round-up page instead of here.

The editorial board of Acts8 reserves the right to decline submissions that are deemed offensive or do not uphold the Guiding Principles.

BLOGFORCE: Where is Galilee for you?


Last week, our new Presiding Bishop Michael Curry released, “This is the Jesus Moment,” a video where he talks about a new movement for evangelism in the Episcopal Church.  In it, he takes a part of the Gospel where Jesus and the disciples go to Galilee and uses that area as a metaphor for the mission fields where we can spread the Word.  This got some of us thinking at Acts8 about where our Galilee is.  So the question for this BLOGFORCE follows that thought:

“Where is your Galilee?

In other words, where do you see a place that the Gospel needs to be proclaimed that you believe we can reach?

Responses and abstracts are due by 5PM Central Time on Sunday the 15th of November and will be posted on the 16th.

David Simmons
Acts8 BLOGFORCE Wing Commander


How do I participate in the Blogforce?

Simply blog your answer on your own site, then:

1. Paste the code you can find here at the bottom of your post – note that it is code so you will probably need to switch to HTML view in your blog editor. It should look like this on your blog when posted or previewed:

2. Send the permanent link and a 120 word or less abstract to blogforce@acts8moment.org.  This should be done by no later than 5PM Central Time on Sunday the 15th of November.  On Monday, the abstracts will be re-posted with links.  At that point, the provided code will point to the round-up page instead of here.

The editorial board of Acts8 reserves the right to decline submissions that are deemed offensive or do not uphold the Guiding Principles.

BLOGFORCE Roundup: Resurrection at General Convention

This week, we asked a question:

“Where did you see resurrection at work at the General Convention?

Responses are listed below in the order received

 


 

David Knight blogged two responses:

Resurrection at General Convention Part One

As a member of the Task Force on the Study of Marriage, I was of course following the progress of the marriage resolutions intently. I observed the debate in the House of Bishops and participated on the floor of the House of Deputies. Where I saw resurrection was in the way we deliberated, the honor given to minority opinions and the willingness to construct a solution that, hopefully, can keep most folks at the table. I think this is how the body of Christ is supposed to work.

Resurrection at General Convention Part Two

This was one of the more exciting, and tense, moments at GC for me. After passing resolutions for evangelism, including church planting and other initiatives, seeing these basically unfunded in the budget was a huge disappointment. I was so excited when Frank Logue offered his amendment to finance these initiatives from an increase in the endowment income. Briliant! I was stunned it passed and thrilled when the HoB YES to evangelism too! We tried almost the same thing in 2006 and our amendment to use an additional .5% for church planting was soundly defeated. Seeing us overwhelmingly make a statement for evangelism with REAL dollars was a resurrection moment for me.

Lee Ann Walling blogs:

“Yo, Yo, Yo,” recounts the big and little moments from General Convention, experienced as a first-time Deputy, that just stopped me cold, lifted me up, opened my heart, humbled me, gave me hope, tore me up, rained down joy. We certainly did not feel like a denomination in decline. Also I look ahead to the coming revision of prayer book and hymnal and the notion of “Common Worship.”

Andrew Leigh Amanda LeAnn Bullard blogs:

Resurrection is often mistakenly conflated with the feeling of “being happy”. This reflection on the 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church focuses on the more painful aspects of resurrection, those moments when hurt shakes the foundation of belief. Yet the shield of faith, even when made of paper, is proof against the arrows of the evil one. Resurrection can be found not only in laughter but tears. Holy waters flowed at General Convention; will you dare to embrace them?

Brendan O’Sullivan-Hale blogs:

By happenstance as much as anything Bishop Greg Brewer – among the Bishops with a more traditional understanding of marriage (and a signer of the Salt Lake City statement) –  and I had a productive interaction in the “House of Twitter. Where I see resurrection in all this – it’s a small but meaningful example of working in common cause across difference in perspectives (and, for that matter, across orders of ministry) for the good of Christ’s church. I hope for greater things than these.

Nurya Love Parish blogs:

A resurrection sighting that would otherwise go unreported: the Diocese of West Tennessee is investing in a new staff position for a Canon for Sustainable Ministries. What’s that all about?

Guest blogging for The Living Church’s Covenant, Scott Gunn wrote:

…it would be easy to follow the lead of mass media and place emphasis on the election of Bishop Michael Curry as our next Presiding Bishop or the authorization of liturgies for same-sex marriage. Both of these stories are indeed very important and worthy of much exploration. But I think there was a bigger one. Jesus was front and center at General Convention this time around.

Respectfully Submitted,
David Simmons, BLOGFORCE Wing Commander