Acts8 Instagram challenge! Show us Resurrection!

 Coming off the three part BLOGFORCE challenge on the nature of the church and the BLOGFORCE ready 5 on the TREC report, it’s time for something lighter.

The Acts8 Moment’s purpose is to proclaim resurrection in the Episcopal Church.  Where have you seen this resurrection taking place?  More to the point, can you show us?

For the next two weeks (Through October 13th), take pictures using Instagram, and add the hashtag #acts8moment in the description.  At the end of the week, the editorial committee of Acts8 will chose the 5 most interesting to post as the roundup.

If you’ve never used Instagram, this is as good an excuse as any to try it out!

Entries are shown in the widget in the right sidebar and on the Instagram Gallery page.

David Simmons
Acts8 BLOGFORCE Wing Commander

BLOGFORCE Roundup – Why the Episcopal Church?

This week concludes our three-part BLOGFORCE challenge.  The first challenge was, “Why the Church?”  The second was, “Why Anglicanism?”  This week, we asked, “Why the Episcopal Church?”  Thanks to all those who participated!  Below are the abstracts and the links to the original Blog Posts in order recieved.

Steve Pankey blogs, “Why the Episcopal Church“:

I’m an Episcopalian because it makes sense to me. Our system of governance, our inculturation into the American way of life, and most importantly our sacramental and apostolic witness to the risen Christ seem to suit me well, and I should think that others might find a home here also, if we could get past all our bickering and partisanship and find a better way to share our story.

Robyn Barnes blogs, “Why the Episcopal Church:

But there’s something more. Our love for the Church is greater than the sum of our lists, even all our lists. Our love for the Church has to do with seeing Jesus here, being transformed, and then trying to reason out what and how and why.

Brendan O’Sullivan Hale blogs, “Why the Episcopal Church:

These attributes have the possibility of serving the church particularly well during the tough times we’re in today. Because for all the things that maybe have to change in the church, one that doesn’t is the sense that you can be part of something significant just by showing up. In fact this is one thing we might want to double down on, that as numbers or finances or whatever force us to be different that what we’ve been, the participatory nature of the church be both opportunity and expectation for everyone involved.

Linda Mizwicki blogs, “Why the Episcopal Church? Because it broke my heart.

Why the Episcopal Church? There are other churches who celebrate Good Friday and teach a message of grace. But, my church is the church that wraps the message of saving, transforming, transcendent grace in beautiful symbols, poetic language, traditional liturgy, and inspirational music. Because of the Episcopal Church, my heart broke open to the transforming grace of God.

David Kendrick blogs, “Why The Episcopal Church: My Confession

The Episcopal Church taught me that, to paraphrase St. Paul, opinions puff us up but love builds us up

David Simmons blogs,”Our Father, Howard be thy name…

The Episcopal Church is necessary because there are some people, like me, that would never hear the Gospel if it were not proclaimed the manner we do it. As Episcopalians, we don’t often refer to ourselves as “evangelists.” It brings up connotations of people knocking on doors with that “are you saved?” question we dread in the South. We think of people handing out tracts in airports, waiting to pounce with well-rehearsed points of doctrine. What we often don’t think of is a pleasant man in a black suit and clerical collar sitting in a small office in a downtown church. But that’s exactly what an evangelist looks like to me. His name was The Rev. Howard Surface.

Tom Lutes blogs, “Why the Episcopal Church? Because We Become Who We Are”

Answering the question “Why the Episcopal Church?” turned out to be really hard for me, because I did not want to simply reprise my previous two submissions. But in the end, I think I choose Episcopalianism for the same reason that many people decry TREC; We are the Church and we can revise the ways in which we are responding to God’s call.

Linda Ryan blogs, “Why the Episcopal Church? Why Not?

When someone proposes something that involves a change, particularly to an institution or a belief or even a beloved theory, there are two responses to the idea of change: why and why not? When asked “Why the Episcopal Church?” my immediate response is “Why not?”

Andrew Leigh Amanda LeAnn Bullard blogs, “Asking Why: Doubt & The Episcopal Church

In the midst of doubt, ritual and community provide an anchor to deeper questions and inexplicable answers. The answer to “Why The Episcopal Church” is interwoven with our human frailties and strengths, and a wisdom that we live into even as it defies our comprehension.

Holli Powell blogs, “Why Why Why?

And that’s exactly why the Episcopal Church, at least for this silly, frustrated soul. Because I care enough to keep slogging through this mess with these folks who all care just as much as I do, if not more, rather than separating from everyone and writing my own church creed with a cup of coffee in my hand in my back yard. Because all these arguments and disagreements mean that we are a family, bound together by the blood lines of liturgy and faith and reason, and even if you desperately want to run away from your family sometimes, you don’t get to. Because this institution has survived through hundreds of years in order to be just the thing I needed to remind me that I was a child of God, in order to remind me that everyone else is too. And it will survive hundreds of years more, God willing, in spite of ourselves, to be that for other Grumpy McFussypants just like me.

Respectfully submitted – David Simmons, BLOGFORCE Wing Commander


 Continue the Conversation on Twitter!

tweetchatActs8 will be hosting a one-hour tweetchat on the evening of this roundup (9/22) 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 ASSEMBLE PART DREI – Why the Episcopal Church?

atp There’s a lot of talk of restructuring and revisioning in the church.  Conversations are happening in many places at many levels.  But why should the church survive?  Any thought of “re” anything supposes something good that must be preserved.  What is that?

Today we continue a three-part BLOGFORCE challenge about the church.  Four weeks ago, the challenge was, “Why the Church?”, meaning the “small c” catholic church.  Two weeks ago, the challenge was, “Why Anglicanism?”  This week, we ask the question, “Why the Episcopal Church?”

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.  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, September 22nd at 9PM EDT using #acts8tc

Response to TREC – BLOGFORCE Scramble Roundup

TRECLast Week, The Taskforce for Reimagining The Episcopal Church (TREC) is issued “A Word To The Episcopal Church,”

Immediately below are the abstracts and links to the various responses (in order received) to our BLOGFORCE Ready 5 Challenge.  Below those are links to other responses that have been highlighted on Acts8 Social Media.

Tom Ferguson (AKA the Crusty Old Dean) writes, “Don’t Wal-Mart My Church, Dude: The TREC Open Letter“:

Crusty Old Dean approves of the Bart-killing policies of the TREC open letter, but not its Selma-killing policies. While lifting up some important issues that need to be discussed in terms of restructuring, the open letter often falls between a Scylla of muddled vagueness and a Charybdis of hyper-specific, yet still oddly ill-defined, specific policy suggestions.

Steve Pankey writes, “Resurrection requires death – Some specific thoughts on the open TREC letter.“:

At 5:08 this afternoon, I will pray, as I do everyday, for the Church. My specific prayer today will be that The Episcopal Church, as one part of Christ’s one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church, will do its part in helping the whole world see that God’s kingdom continues to unfold through cycles of death and resurrection. I hope and pray that TREC, as they finish their work, and later the 78th General Convention will see the need to accept death as the precursor to new life. I hope we can let go of those things which are old and cast down and allow Jesus to raise us up and make us new.

Susan Snook writes, “Just the Same, Only More So: TREC’s Letter to the Church, September 2014.”:

It’s not too surprising that the forces of sabotage have risen up this early in the restructuring process to prevent any change. What’s surprising is that resistance to any real change seems to be coming from within TREC itself.  TREC has decided that we should remain the same as we are now, only more so.

Keith Voets writes, “We Asked for Bold, And We Got Bold: Acts 8 BLOGFORCE Scramble.”:

The TREC proposals are not perfect, nor did I ever expect them to be. But, they are a start. They are a start to an unending conversation about how we best make and nurture disciples of Jesus Christ. I am excited to see where there work leads us and pray that those who feel threatened by them will be open to a new way of being, a new way of being the Episcopal Church. Fixing structures, won’t solve all of our challenges, but it is a start. Structures are important, they give us a context for spreading the Gospel and I thank TREC for their faithfulness and boldness as we become a Church for the 21st Century.

Nurya Parish writes, “The Governance System is not the Church.”:

The Task Force to Reimagine the Episcopal Church’s letter outlining their proposals does not go far enough to free the church for the conversation we must have about the Holy Spirit’s call to us.

Megan Castellan writes, “IKEA and restructuring the church.“:

To that end, TREC sounds like a particularly enraging shelving unit that you’d buy at IKEA—one that’s missing half its hardware, where the allen wrench breaks twice in the process of constructing it, but that looked so damn nice on the showroom floor that you even sprang for some cheap throw pillows in the hopes that this one shelving unit would solve all your organizational problems forever! You, too, could live a clutter-free life like in the catalogs!

But no. Dust, allen wrenches, and reality intervened.

That’s pretty much how it’s going with TREC.

Grace Burton-Edwards sent in two submissions:

Lessons from Baptist History for the Taskforce on Reimagining the Episcopal Church

Why TREC matters: Examples from Baptist history suggest denominational structure does affect local mission. Different denominational structures for two different Baptist denominations may have led to different outcomes at the congregational level. This is a call to pay attention to proposals from the TREC. Grace Burton-Edwards is rector of St. Thomas Church in Columbus, Georgia, Diocese of Atlanta.

The Adaptive Challenge is always with us – why not start with something Technical?

The Episcopal Church is facing many adaptive challenges for which no obvious solution exists. The TREC has been asked to help us consider the adaptive challenges and also pose some technical solutions. Proposals around transforming the General Convention gathering into a mission convocation seem like a technical change that could create a holding environment for the greater adaptive work we need to do.

Adam Trambley writes, “A Response to TREC’s Open Letter and Its Responses.” (He’s so meta):

Is the church really ready to accept clear and effective leadership that pursues bold and disruptive ideas?  If we are really honest about clear, effective leadership, part of what we will be doing is offering to give up the ability to use General Convention and the Episcopal Church to implement our own agendas, and that means that sometimes what is very important to us will not receive priority or funding.

Other responses noted on Acts8 Social Media include:

Mark Harris – “TREC and the power of bishops.

Jessie Zink – “The TREC rubber hits the TEC road.

Katie Sherrod – “Looking at TREC’s proposal from the other side of schism.

Jim Hammond – “The Episcopal Church, History and TREC.

Tom Erich – “Denominational restructuring won’t work; local churches must innovate” from The Washington Post

 

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.

BLOGFORCE Roundup – Why Anglicanism?

This last week we continued our three-part BLOGFORCE challenge.  The first challenge was, “Why the Church?”  This week was, “Why Anglicanism?”  Why the particular branch of the catholic church that the Episcopal Church is part of?  In a week, we will ask, “Why the Episcopal Church?”  Thanks to all those who participated!  Below are the abstracts and the links to the original Blog Posts.

Note that the BLOGFORCE Ready 5 on the TREC “Word to the Episcopal Church” is still ongoing until this Friday.

David Kendrick Blogged:

In a world that spins madly on between tyranny and secession, I find unity in the legacy and diversity of The Anglican Communion.

Keith Voets Blogged:

Anglicanism is complex and it is messy, but so is the work of the Church.  Anglicanism does not leave much room for easy answers or empty theology and can often leaves us with even more questions than when we started.  Anglicanism is Incarnate, we experience expressions of Christ in one another now, in those who came before and those who are yet to come and it is in that diversity of creation we discern the Mission of God.

Evan Gardner Blogged:

Why Anglicanism? Because its history, theology, structure, and future are as grace-centered and gospel-focused as any religious or philosophical institution on earth. Isn’t that the only measure that matters?

Tom Lutes Blogged:

My response to “Why Anglicanism” is not a pronouncement of Anglicanism above all other iterations of Christianity. My response is simply that I have chosen it for myself, despite that I inherited it from my parents and I went through a time in my life when I tried to replace it with something else. But I have chosen it primarily because of the way Elizabeth I established its identity as the via media.

David Simmons Blogged:

Why Anglicanism? Because the genius of Anglicanism is that it is by definition a temporary state of affairs. In short, unbecoming who we are for the sake of Christ is who we are.

Adam Trambley Blogged:

An important part of Anglicanism’s value is its strong practical Christianity. From its ancient monastic practices to the Elizabethan settlement and down to the present day, Anglicanism has focused on concrete ways to help its people love God and one another.

Brendan O’Sullivan Hale Blogged:

Maybe this makes us a little squishy…hard to tell who’s in or out, who’s the right kind of Christian and who’s not in a church like that. But it means that even though in the alphabet soup of GAFCON and the ACC, I suppose the Diocese of West Malaysia is on the “other side” from me, St. Mary’s Cathedral in Kuala Lumpur is my church, too. And when I was there this Easter Sunday days after my mother had died there, it was a more ordinary act of love, including the name of my mother, a woman unknown to that church, among the familiar prayers, that reminded me that at its best the distinction of Anglicanism is common worship, paired not with agreement, but with love.

The Rev. David Simmons, BLOGFORCE Wing Commander


 Continue the Conversation on Twitter!

tweetchatActs8 will be hosting a one-hour tweetchat on the evening of this roundup (9/8) 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 SCRAMBLE! TREC “A Word to the Episcopal Church.”

The Taskforce for Reimagining The Episcopal Church (TREC) has issued “A Word To The Episcopal Church,” their recommendations for restructuring.  It begins:

As the Taskforce for Reimagining The Episcopal Church (TREC) has progressed in our work, we have come to see the raising and unbinding of Lazarus as a helpful way of understanding this moment in the life of The Episcopal Church. We believe Jesus is calling our church to new life and vitality, but the church is held back by its bindings—old ways of working that no longer serve us well.

We write this as we begin the final months of our work, to give you an update about our thinking and emerging recommendations for your prayerful consideration and feedback. We will publish our final report and specific legislative proposals in December 2014.

Therefore, it’s time for a BLOGFORCE READY 5 SCRAMBLE!  If you’d like to blog with us on your reflections, follow the instructions below.  This BLOGFORCE challenge will continue until Friday, September 12th at 5PM CDT, at which time a summary post will be made.


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 Friday the 12th.  On Saturday, 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 ASSEMBLE PART DEUX! Why Anglicanism?

There’s a lot of talk of restructuring and revisioning in the church.  Conversations are happening in many places at many levels.  But why should the church survive?  Any thought of “re” anything supposes something good that must be preserved.  What is that?

Today we continue a three-part BLOGFORCE challenge about the church.  Two weeks ago, the challenge was, “Why the Church?”, meaning the “small c” catholic church.  This week, the challenge is, “Why Anglicanism?”  Why the particular branch of the catholic church that the Episcopal Church is part of?  In two weeks, we will ask the question, “Why the Episcopal Church?”

The Rev. David Simmons, ObJN
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.  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, September 8th at 9PM EDT using #acts8tc

BLOGFORCE Roundup – Why the Church?

This last week we began a three-part BLOGFORCE challenge about the church.  The challenge was, “What is the reason for the church’s existence?”  Who are we and what do we do?  The next question will be about Anglicanism, and the third about the Episcopal Church.  This week, we are asking about the worldwide church in all it’s diversity, faithfulness, and sometime failure.

Thanks to all those who participated!  Below are the abstracts and the links to the original Blog Posts.

Steve Pankey blogged:

My answer to “Why the Church?” is quite simply, because I think it is impossible to live the life of faith on our own. Saving the famous St. Augustine quote for someone more bold than myself, I’ll say this, the Church is a “wonderful and sacred mystery” all right, but I love her.

Evan Garner blogged:

Why church? Because we can’t help being the body of Christ. We are unavoidably the church—warts and all. But the church is both a human and divine institution, which means the incarnation gives us hope.

David Kendrick blogged:

In a world divided by sin and alienation, and in my own life of loss, hints of resurrection and reconciliation; the Church has been the closest thing to a cure that I have found.

Andrew Amanda Leigh-Bullard blogged:

Beginning with a haiku, as summer isn’t quite over. A bardic librarian demonstrates how the Church lives out its purpose, to proclaim the Gospel, through stories. There is an emphasis on a unity that celebrates all voices. A unity that challenges us as a church to listen, to hear the Gospel proclaimed back to us in the Holy stories of those we meet.

 Linda Mizwicki blogged:

That is why we need church, not to solve our problems, make us better people, teach us values, or give us answers, but to give us a space and a place to live with the mystery.   In the liturgy, I hear it, I feel it, I smell it, I eat it, I drink it, I bask in it, I love it.  I meet others, also imperfect, also beautiful, also beloved children of God, and I learn to love them, too. At church, the mystery of the grace of God in Christ loves me back.

Keith Voets Blogged:

The Church gives us a community in which we can develop our spiritual skills, keep one another accountable, and be reinvigorated and rejuvenated for our work of creating disciples and sharing Christ’s love in the world.  Church keeps us honest, it holds a mirror up to our faces so that we can see ourselves for what we are – beloved creations of God who are broken but who have been redeemed by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Robert Hendrickson Blogged:

The Church exists to proclaim salvation. We can differ on the precise nature of this salvation but we cannot debate that, by Love, Christ has come that all might be free. The Church’s primary function is first and foremost the adoration of that God who loves us. Out of that adoration flows love for that which He loves – our fellow humanity. Before our doctrine came a meal. The first Eucharists were offered in Remembrance before the books of the Bible were chosen and the Creeds written. The Church, existing before humanity realized it, offers the hope of partaking in the more that is of God. So we pray for more. We pray that we may know Christ and make him known.

Tom Lutes blogged:

So you want my TL;DR? Well, the question was “Why the Church? I say that we, the Church, are the community of people answering the call to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world today.

Nurya Parish blogged:

My first call out of seminary was to serve as New Congregation Minister for a church plant. I still believe this call was a miracle and evidence of God’s providence: in those days I was a Unitarian Universalist Christian – this was the only church available to me. Even though the church closed five years ago, a recent reunion and the gift of one of the church’s last pieces of property reminded me powerfully of the reason for the church’s existence. The church is the only institution whose sole purpose is to proclaim the good news of God’s reign.

David Simmons blogged:

The answer is easy, but the question is hard.  We are called to proclaim the Gospel to the ends of the earth, but why?  What is it the Good News is supposed to change?  The church is intended to be the community that enshrines the divine cycle of non-violence against the human cycle of violence.  We often fail spectacularly, and sometimes become complicit in the cycle of violence itself.  But ultimately, When we get it right, we stand against violence in our culture and in our own hearts, whether that is to others or to ourselves.

The Rev. David Simmons, BLOGFORCE Wing Commander


 Continue the Conversation on Twitter!

tweetchatActs8 will be hosting a one-hour tweetchat on the evening of this roundup (8/25) 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 ASSEMBLE! Why the Church?

As the summer nears it’s sad ending, the BLOGFORCE turns to more serious matters.  There’s a lot of talk of restructuring and revisioning in the church.  Conversations are happening in many places at many levels.  But why should the church survive?  Any thought of “re” anything supposes something good that must be preserved.  What is that?

Today we begin a three-part BLOGFORCE challenge about the church.  This week, the challenge is, “What is the reason for the church’s existence?”  Who are we and what do we do?  Just to make this focussed, we are talking about the “small c” catholic church here.  The next question will be about Anglicanism, and the third about the Episcopal Church.  This week, we are asking about the worldwide church in all it’s diversity, faithfulness, and sometime failure.

The Rev. David Simmons, ObJN
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.  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 August 25th at 9PM EDT using #acts8tc