BLOGFORCE SCRAMBLE Roundup – A Memorial to the Church

Last week, a “group of Episcopalians who are passionate about our church’s health and witness to the world” released “A Memorial to the Church” along with several enabling legislative resolutions.  Here’s is a roundup of responses (with abstracts when submitted):

The Crusty Old Dean (AKA Tom Ferguson) writes, “Memorialize This: Calling for Resurrection

Susan Snook writes, “Pray a New Church into Being

Frank Logue writes, “Yearning for a Church Transformed

Nurya Love Parish writes, “This is how renewal starts – reflections on #EpiscopalResurrection

Rodger Patience writes, “The spiritual disciplines at the core

As a practitioner and promoter of one of “the spiritual disciplines at the core of our common life,” in fact the first-named of those disciplines (see BCP 13), I have endorsed the Memorial to the Church found here. I urge you all to do likewise.

The Memorial also calls upon the church to go into our neighborhoods boldly and to restructure our church for the mission God has in mind for us.

The Daily Office is a portable discipline (I use a prayer book/Bible combo, but you could show your neighbor the Forward Day by Day app on your iPhone), and praying it means living in the “big, exciting room” of the Scriptures, the “house built on rock” (Matthew 7:24).

Steve Pankey writes, “A MEMORIAL TO THE CHURCH.

Keith Voets writes, “A Memorial To The Church: The Missing Piece

We have lost focus of the purpose of the Church – to worship God and to make disciples of Jesus Christ.  This memorial calls us back to our central identity and asks General Convention to reprioritize its budget initiatives so that we can continue the work that Christ has given us to do and it calls on the rest of us to a spiritual transformation, to be bold in our faith and proclamation of the Gospel.  No General Convention resolution or memorial will fix our spiritual crisis, but both can call on us to refocus our attention on the One who granted us new life through his death and resurrection.

Lee Ann Walling writes, “Following Jesus.  Into the Neighborhood.

As a first-time deputy, I am starting to write about the issues from my perspective including TREC.  Frankly, the TREC recommendations were overly structural and not what I expected. I was very excited to start seeing the Tweets about the #EpiscopalResurrection and started reading the resolutions and related blogs.  I am now much less intimidated about being a newbie and more excited about joining in on this journey. I signed on as a supporter.

Adam Trambley writes, “An Ascension Day Call to the Church.

I hope you will go to the website episcopalresurrection.org and read the Memorial. I hope you will join us and others throughout the church as we pray and fast for the restructuring and the health of the Episcopal Church and for the growth and spread of the Kingdom of God more generally. I hope that you will take up the gospel call to witness to Jesus’ life, death and resurrection in whatever neighborhoods you walk into. We honestly believe that the church is at a crucial junction in its history that offers us a great opportunity to follow the Holy Spirit into new places that will bring new people into the church. I also hope that you will consider signing on to this memorial and adding your name to those re-imagining the church.

Miranda Hassett writes, “Thoughts on Revitalization and Restructuring.

Brendan O’Sullivan Hale writes, “Nine Resolutions That Won’t Rescue the Church.

The fact is that no piece of legislation, no matter how finely crafted, will save the church. Nor will any memorial or open letter save it, no matter how persuasively its authors make their points. Fortunately we Christians believe that the work of salvation has already been taken care of. Instead our task is to respond as a redeemed people.

This is the hard work of discipleship. At the very best the work of General Convention will clear a few obstacles, maybe offer a few new tools – and it should do those things! But the practices the memorial enumerates…General Convention can’t make any of those things happen. These are the works of a people with hearts aflame, continuing in the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and the prayers, with God’s help.

David Simmons writes, “All This Has Happened Before

No matter what you think about the specifics, a group of volunteers who are unauthorized by any church body and are self-funded have put together a proposal for change in the church that has caught the attention of the wider body.  What I am most excited about is the process by which the memorial and resolutions itself were generated. It’s really nothing new – this is the way we generally did things back before the denomination became more of a corporate entity in the 20th century. It’s probably the way things will be in the future as resources become more scarce and the luxury of a grand central administration becomes unaffordable.

Other responses noted on Acts8 Social Media include:

Everett Lees – A Memorial for the Church

Jonathan GrieserI won’t be signing on

Kirk Smith – Bad News, Good News

Lionel Deimel Another View of Reimagining the Church

Grumpy Episcopal Cat grumped,

ff

I will be glad to add others to this list!  Please submit them to blogforce@acts8moment.org.

Respectfully Submitted by David Simmons, BLOGFORCE Wing Commander


This was a

Scramble!

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

“A Memorial to the Church” and BLOGFORCE SCRAMBLE!

cropped-resurrectionicon-wideGroup calls for The Episcopal Church
“To act with boldness to proclaim the gospel”

A group of General Convention deputies, bishops, and others have released A Memorial to the Church, calling for The Episcopal Church to “act with boldness to proclaim the gospel.” One member of the group, the Rev. Adam Trambley, deputy from the Northwest Pennsylvania said, “We hope this letter to the church will jumpstart significant action both at General Convention and among Episcopalians across the church.”

Inspired by the conversation begun by the Task Force to Reimagine the Episcopal Church, the memorial calls for the church “to recommit itself to the spiritual disciplines at the core of our common life, to go into our neighborhoods boldly with church planters and church revitalizers, and to restructure our church for the mission God is laying before us today.”

General Convention typically considers resolutions, but The Episcopal Church’s canons and rules of order also provide for memorials, which are written in the form of letters to the church. The Muhlenberg Memorial of 1853 is perhaps the most famous of the the memorials, and while its immediate effect was slight, it changed the conversation inside the church in a way that later led to liturgical change and other shifts to meet the needs of that time. The hope is that this memorial will lead to change within our church to promote evangelism and discipleship.

The Rev. Susan Brown Snook, deputy from Arizona, said, “In addition to the memorial, our group is offering several resolutions to enable the call to discipleship and transformation.” She added that signers to the memorial do not necessarily support any or all of the nine resolutions.

The package of resolutions includes action
— Encouraging a significant commitment to church planting
— Promoting revitalization of existing congregations
— Amending the Constitution & Canons to permit more structural flexibility
— Clarifying roles of churchwide officers
— Creating a task force to look at episcopal elections
— Eliminating the provincial structure within The Episcopal Church

The text of the memorial and all nine resolutions, along with explanatory material is available at www.episcopalresurrection.org. Those who wish to add their names as signatories should email endorse@episcopalresurrection.org and include their full name and whether they are a bishop, deputy, alternate deputy, or other. Those who endorse the memorial may not necessarily agree with the nine resolutions proposed by the drafting committee.

These materials were written by a drafting committee consisting of Trambley and Brown Snook, along with the Rev. Tom Ferguson; the Rev. Canon Scott Gunn, deputy from Southern Ohio; the Rev. Canon Frank Logue, deputy from Georgia; Brendan O’Sullivan-Hale, deputy from Indianapolis; and the Rev. Steve Pankey, deputy from Central Gulf Coast.

As a result of the release of this memorial and its accompanying resolutions, there will be a BLOGFORCE Scramble in order to gather responses.

This BLOGFORCE scramble will end Monday, May 18th at 5PM.

David Simmons
BLOGFORCE Wing Commander


How do I participate in the BLOGFORCE Scramble?

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 on Monday, May the 18th.  After that, 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 have you seen resurrection?

This week, we challenged the BLOGFORCE to answer the following question: “Where have you experienced resurrection, either in the church or otherwise, this Holy Week and Easter Season?”

The submissions for this week in order of being received were:

Brendan O’Sullivan Hale blogged, “These Bones

No one told us what to expect when we picked up my mother’s ashes from the crematorium.

The taxi turned into the parking lot at the top of the hill, across from the Chinese cemetery. Some chickens pecked around in the grass. The funeral director led us around to a table on the far side of the building, and then they brought her out.

She was in what looked like a large lasagna pan. She was fine dust, some ribs, an arm bone. The heat of the oven had broken her skull into three pieces.

“Mortal, can these bones live?” came uninvited into my mind. No, I said to myself. No.

Steve Pankey Blogged, “Experiencing resurrection

I’ve spent a lot of time pondering this week’s question; thinking back over the particularities of Holy Week and Easter… Even as I took the time to remember all those events, I felt like I was still missing the point.  I had done plenty, but I wasn’t sure I had actually experienced resurrection.  Sometimes I’m not even sure I know what that means.  Life is just so busy, I wonder how much I really experience anything.

David Simmons Blogged, “Resurrection and the Trembling Giant

In a time where so much is focussed on disunity and struggle in the church, I found resurrection in Rachel Held Evans, “Searching for Sunday.”  The “Assumed Ecumenism” of this book points to the essential unity in Jesus that seems to be on the rise among the young.  Her journey of embracing an Episcopal congregation gives me hope that if we concentrate on the essentials of being Anglican liturgical Christians, rather than pushing “The Episcopal Church” as an entity unique and closed off to ecumenical currents, that we have something significant to offer.

Andrew Leigh Amanda LeAnn Bullard Blogged, “Finding Resurrection in Despair

In the midst of an Easter light overcast by the shadow of rejection, Andrew Amanda explores what resurrection can mean for those who were never supposed to survive. Drawing on their experiences as a psychiatric survivor, and transgender person of faith they demonstrate how the triumph of resurrection can start with the simple act of waking up each morning.

Linda Mizwicki Blogged, “The Peaceful Pain of Pruning Shears

 As I managed my responsibilities so I could check another item off my list, God told me to “Settle down, chick.  Settle down, let it be, and smell the roses.  Or rather, become a rose for others to smell.  Let me help help you grow.”  The knot in my chest loosened, the furrows on my brow smoothed, and the weight on my shoulders lightened.  This, my friends, is what church can do.  This, my friends is what it means to let Christ prune us, to allow ourselves to grow in the love of God.  As my inspiration died in my heart and withered on the vine, I found resurrection in the gospel, in the liturgy, in the community of my church.  I may be a rotten gardener, but with, God’s help, I pray to be a fruitful plant.

David Simmons
Acts8 BLOGFORCE Wing Commander


 Continue the Conversation on Twitter!

tweetchatActs8 will be hosting a one-hour tweetchat on the evening of this roundup (5/4) at 9PM EDT/6PM PDT.  Use the hashtag #acts8tc.


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

BLOGFORCE: Where have you seen resurrection?

As we move through the latter weeks of the Easter season, it’s important to keep the story in our heads.  Theres a lot of doom and gloom around cultural change and restructuring, but we are a people of the Resurrection.

The BLOGFORCE question before us:  “Where have you experienced resurrection, either in the church or otherwise, this Holy Week and Easter Season?”

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 origin story abstract to blogforce@acts8moment.org.  This should be done by no later than 5PM Central Time on Sunday the 3rd 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.


tweetchatLook during the week for more information on our next Acts8 tweetchat, which is scheduled for Monday, May 4th at 9PM EDT using #acts8tc

BLOGFORCE Roundup: Why the (DF) Missionary Society (of the PECUSA)?

This week, we challenged the BLOGFORCE to answer the third of three questions about the different levels of the church:

1. What is the mission of the congregation?  How should it be structured to serve its mission?
2. What is the mission of the Diocese?  How should it be structured to serve its mission?
3. What is the mission of the (Domestic and Foreign) Missionary Society (of the Protestant Episcopal Church of America) or whatever you currently insist on calling it? How should it be structured to serve its mission?

The submissions for this week in order of being received were:

Andy Doyle blogged, “Thoughts on the Future Diocese and Future Wider Church Structure

 At the core of a missionary Episcopal Church is a bishop serving God’s people and  undertaking service and evangelism for the sake of reconciliation. The only reason to have a diocese is to help organize the mission of a particular area, and to stay out of the way of a living Church making its missionary journey. The only reason to have a wider church organization is to organize the mission for a particular region. Everything else is extra. This has been the essence of our structure and it continues to be so today. Sure, we can add a lot of other things to it. Those who are the elite power brokers in the organization will tell us that their parts are also essential.  This is not true, though. It is a lie one leader tells its Church citizens in order to maintain their place in power. The Church would continue to make its way in the world without all that we pretend is necessary. Our structures have been and forever will be a utilitarian exoskeleton for the real work of God’s Holy Spirit. What we know today is that this skeleton and all its scaffolding and framework which we have so labored to construct no longer works. It no longer protects us. It no longer enables us to be agile in the culture. It no longer supports the mission efforts of our Church. The present church is organized to operate in a context that no longer exists. The same pressures that all major manufacturing companies and institutions face in this time period are the same pressures the church faces.

Steve Pankey Blogged, “What is the mission of the (DF) Missionary Society (of the PECUSA)?

Where The Missionary Society (the in house term for that long title above) gets its mission comes, I believe, in the next question in the Catechism
Q. How doe the Church pursue its mission?
A. The Church pursues its mission as it prays and worships, proclaims the Gospel, and promotes justice, peace and love.

It seems to me that this is the mission of the Church-Wide Structure: to enable Common Prayer, to support the proclamation of the Gospel, and to promote through education, advocacy, and study; justice, peace, and love.

Christopher Arnold Blogged, “BLOGFORCE: Why The Episcopal Church?

Parish and Diocese I can talk about. The provincial level of TEC is far more muddled for me. I think I feel about it the way many Americans feel about the federal government: a bit suspicious, not sure it represents my interests, wanting it to be better than it is, and not sure how to make it that way.

Nurya Love Parish Blogged, “How should the church work? A post for church geeks.

According to the logic of our polity, the diocese would be the basic mission unit of the church and the churchwide structure would primarily exist to facilitate growth and health of the dioceses. But that’s not what I see.

Susan Snook Blogged, “The Mission of the Church-wide Structure.

Lots of people talk about mission and mean completely different things by it. I think the church-wide structure’s mission is fairly simple and straightforward. But there’s one component of it that has not been done well at all: providing inspirational, strategic leadership for the whole church.

Gay Clark Jennings Blogged, “Structure, Identity, and Magical Thinking.

In the last few years, there’s been an identity crisis brewing in some of the churchwide structures of the Episcopal Church. When structure and identity get confused, we run the risk of thinking that if we make a few big, grand gestures—change the name of the church, rearrange some departments, get rid of our bicameral General Convention—we have taken the problems that confront us seriously. When we talk about structure as if it will save us, we’re not really talking about structure. We’re talking about our identity and our vision for the future.

David Simmons
Acts8 BLOGFORCE Wing Commander


 Continue the Conversation on Twitter!

tweetchatActs8 will be hosting a one-hour tweetchat on the evening of this roundup (3/23) at 9PM EDT/6PM PDT.  Use the hashtag #acts8tc.


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

BLOGFORCE: Why the (DF) Missionary Society (Of the PECUSA)?

So now that the TREC report has been released and debated ad-infinitem, ACTS 8 is hosting a three-part BLOGFORCE challenge focussed on mission and structure at different levels of the church.  Over the course of this, we will be asking the following three questions:

1. What is the mission of the congregation?  How should it be structured to serve its mission?
2. What is the mission of the Diocese?  How should it be structured to serve its mission?
3. What is the mission of the (Domestic and Foreign) Missionary Society (of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States of America) or whatever you currently insist on calling it? How should it be structured to serve its mission?

This week’s challenge is question three.  A large part of the angst in the church is over national mission and structures.  What should the mission be and how should it be structured to serve that?

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 origin story abstract to blogforce@acts8moment.org.  This should be done by no later than 5PM Central Time on Sunday the 22nd of March.  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.


tweetchatLook during the week for more information on our next Acts8 tweetchat, which is scheduled for Monday, March 23rd at 9PM EDT using #acts8tc

BLOGFORCE Roundup: Why the Diocese?

This week, we challenged the BLOGFORCE to answer the Second of three questions about the different levels of the church:

1. What is the mission of the congregation?  How should it be structured to serve its mission?
2. What is the mission of the Diocese?  How should it be structured to serve its mission?
3. What is the mission of the (Domestic and Foreign) Mission Society (of the Protestant Episcopal Church of America) or whatever you currently insist on calling it? How should it be structured to serve its mission?

Chris Arnold blogged, “BLOGFORCE: Why the diocese?

Why the diocese? Can’t really imagine an Episcopal Church without dioceses or bishops. Two reasons, though: they rescue us from isolationism and tribalism, and they share out the harvest work in the vineyard.

Steve Pankey blogged, “Why the Diocese?

To me, the mission of the diocese is quite simply, to equip us for our ministries.  Certainly there a few ministries that are best done at the diocesan level, but to my mind that list is very, very small.  As the hub from which congregations radiate from, the diocese should serve to facilitate the ministries of each member congregation.  It should serve as a hub of communication, of best practices sharing, of training, and of support.

Amy Real Coultas blogged, “We are the diocese

A few days from now the diocese will preach a sermon that insists, despite all messages to the contrary from both the church and the world, that everyone listening (and those not listening!) are the very creation of God, and beloved of God, and that they are not alone, ever, and that in Jesus, their whole lives are loved and turned upside down, and made new, and that they have a whole bunch of brothers and sisters. The diocese will say: there is hope. The diocese will say: there is something more true, and more powerful, than wealth, fashion, debt, fear, technology, divorce, betrayal, racism, sin. There is even something more true than death: life. Your life, God’s life, your neighbor’s life. And Love. Love is more powerful than all those things combined.

Holli Powell blogged, “Why the Diocese? A BLOGFORCE reflection

Last week’s Acts 8 Moment BLOGFORCE prompt was number two of three in a series. The first question was: “what is the mission of the congregation? How should it be structured to serve its mission?” The second: “What is the mission of the diocese? How should it be structured to serve its mission?” And the final question, which you may have guessed, will be: “What is the mission of the denominational office? How should it be structured to serve its mission?” I didn’t get a chance to respond to the first question (February 2015 was NOT MY FRIEND), and apparently I’m too late to be included in the roundup for question two, but I have some thoughts, so I’m going to share them anyway. This may turn into a treatise on all three questions, so … you’ve been warned. #churchnerdalert

Brendan O’Sullivan-Hale blogged, “BLOGFORCE Challenge: What’s a Diocese For?”

The fact of the matter is that many of the big things that have happened in our diocese over the last few years have been ideas originating from lay and clergy folks from around central and southern Indiana latching onto an idea and making it happen, with the diocese signing on to many of these ideas to help them achieve liftoff. Examples have included a multi-parish operation to build and provide sustainable funding for a school in Haiti, and providing a home and technical resources for dailyoffice.org, which originates in Lafayette, Indiana and has helped thousands of people around the world exercise the habits of prayer to develop a closer relationship with God.

David Simmons
Acts8 BLOGFORCE Wing Commander


 Continue the Conversation on Twitter!

tweetchatActs8 will be hosting a one-hour tweetchat on the evening of this roundup (3/2) at 9PM EDT/6PM PDT.  Use the hashtag #acts8tc.


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

BLOGFORCE: Why the Diocese?

So now that the TREC report has been released and debated ad-infinitem, ACTS 8 is hosting a three-part BLOGFORCE challenge focussed on mission and structure at different levels of the church.  Over the course of this, we will be asking the following three questions:

1. What is the mission of the congregation?  How should it be structured to serve its mission?
2. What is the mission of the Diocese?  How should it be structured to serve its mission?
3. What is the mission of the (Domestic and Foreign) Mission Society (of the Protestant Episcopal Church of America) or whatever you currently insist on calling it? How should it be structured to serve its mission?

This week’s challenge is question two.  Much has been made of the idea that theologically the “smallest unit” of the church is the diocese.  What is the mission of a diocese and how should it ideally be structured to serve its mission?  What might it look like if we re-tooled from the ground up?

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 origin story abstract to blogforce@acts8moment.org.  This should be done by no later than 5PM Central Time on Sunday the 27th of February.  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.


tweetchatLook during the week for more information on our next Acts8 tweetchat, which is scheduled for Monday, March 2nd at 9PM EDT using #acts8tc

BLOGFORCE ROUNDUP – What is a Congregation?

congregation3This week, we challenged the BLOGFORCE to answer the first of three questions about the different levels of the church:

1. What is the mission of the congregation?  How should it be structured to serve its mission?
2. What is the mission of the Diocese?  How should it be structured to serve its mission?
3. What is the mission of the (Domestic and Foreign) Mission Society (of the Protestant Episcopal Church of America) or whatever you currently insist on calling it? How should it be structured to serve its mission?

Here are the responses:

Linda Mizwiki blogged,  “What is a congregation? It’s where sh*t gets real

A congregation is the in-breath and out-breath of the church.  It is where the mundane becomes the sacred.  It is God’s money laundering service, taking our junk, our baggage, our brokenness, our pride, and turns it into service, mashing it around together, and churning out love for the world.  It is where our shi*t gets real.  It is where we learn to love each other, and to love ourselves, even when we seem unloveable.

Steve Pankey blogged, “What is a Congregation?

I can’t answer “What is the mission of the congregation?” without first thinking about the mission of my congregation. Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church in Foley, Alabama is part of God’s mission, as the Catechism says, “to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ” (BCP, 855). We do that in a very particular way because Christianity, especially Anglican Christianity, is very much an incarnational religion. Our work is specific to the particularities of who we are and where we are.

Tom Lutes blogged, “What Is a Congregation? Or, Let Me Show You Some Shapes.

I’m not much for structuring action plans, but there are two powerful images that, for me, inform how a congregation can engage with God’s mission. One describes how we are a community of believers, united by our baptismal vows, and the other is what I call “parish respiration.”

Adam Trambley blogged, “Episcopal Congregations: What? Why? How?”

Adam Trambley at the Black Giraffe looks at the definition and mission of many Episcopal congregations today and suggests a change of focus.

Andrew Amanda Leigh-Bullard blogged, “Congregations: Christian Community 101

Congregations provide the training ground for one of the central tenants of Christian belief, that of prayerful community. Through reflection on the missions of various congregations a sense of the MISSION of a congregation is revealed. Rooted in a Eucharistic understanding of belonging, and an awe-filled appreciation for their oddity, congregations provide the perfect place to examine what it means to be Christian together.

David Simmons
Acts8 BLOGFORCE Wing Commander


 Continue the Conversation on Twitter!

tweetchatActs8 will be hosting a one-hour tweetchat on the evening of this roundup (2/9) at 9PM EDT/6PM PDT.  Use the hashtag #acts8tc.


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

BLOGFORCE: What is a congregation?

congregation3So now that the TREC report has been released and debated ad-infinitem, ACTS 8 is hosting a three-part BLOGFORCE challenge focussed on mission and structure at different levels of the church.  Over the course of this, we will be asking the following three questions:

1. What is the mission of the congregation?  How should it be structured to serve its mission?
2. What is the mission of the Diocese?  How should it be structured to serve its mission?
3. What is the mission of the (Domestic and Foreign) Mission Society (of the Protestant Episcopal Church of America) or whatever you currently insist on calling it? How should it be structured to serve its mission?

This week’s challenge is question one.  While there is much debate about what the “basic unit” of the church is from a theological standpoint, it is hard to argue that the congregation does not have its own unique identity and legal standing.  What is the mission of a congregation and how should it ideally be structured to serve its mission?  What might it look like if we re-tooled from the ground up?

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 origin story abstract to blogforce@acts8moment.org.  This should be done by no later than 5PM Central Time on Sunday the 8th of February.  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.


tweetchatLook during the week for more information on our next Acts8 tweetchat, which is scheduled for Monday, Feburary 9th at 9PM EDT using #acts8tc