BLOGFORCE SCRAMBLE ROUNDUP – The Final Trec Report

TRECLast Week, The Taskforce for Reimagining The Episcopal Church (TREC) is issued it’s final report.

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.

The Crusty Old Dean (AKA Tom Ferguson) made two submissions:

Let the Dead Bury Their Own Dead: TREC Final Report” (Which is written in the hyperbolic character of the Crusty Old Dean)

and

We’re One, But We’re Not the Same: Two Proposals for Restructuring and Reform.” (Which contains Tom’s constructive suggestions)

Steve Pankey writes, “We asked for change and they delivered“:

We asked TREC to give us change, and boy have they delivered.  It took less than two hours before the sigh of relief turned into the very visceral response of rending of garments and bowls of tears to drink.  Having served on a Diocesan re-imagining task force that presented its report in February of 2014, I could have predicted most of the responses on Social Media.  The Conventionistas and Status Quo folks will be upset that TREC dared change anything.  Those who are genuinely interested in change will be upset that their particular version of change was not put forward. Only a very small number of people, all of whom serve on TREC, will be happy with the proposal.  All of those responses are OK because what is most important part the TREC report is that the report exists at all.

Adam Trambley writes, “A few small steps in a TREC of a thousand miles“:

Adam Trambley at The Black Giraffe concludes that “The details on governance, including the role and election of the PB, the Presiding Deputy, the Executive Council, and General Convention, are serious proposals that TREC has done a solid job addressing…[However, t]he lack of discussion around financial implications is a fairly large hole that will need to be filled in… The whole Church will have a lot of work to do.  As TREC has said, they can’t do the real work that needs to be done.  They can only propose some structures to make that work a little easier.  We all have to do it.”

Keith Voets writes, “The TREC Report: To What End?“:

I think I am stuck.  I am stuck because I have decided that while structural change is certainly necessary and should always be ongoing; the real crisis in the Episcopal Church is not one of structure, it is one of theology and missiology.  Is the purpose of these changes so that we can create and nurture disciples of Jesus Christ or are these changes so that we can make it easier to be social workers that mention God once in a while?  I am not convinced that our shrinking numbers have much to do with changes in society, but has much more to do with the fact that we no longer stand for much other than being nice.  We have replaced cries for Jesus with cries for Justice forgetting that justice comes with a life in Christ.  Are these proposed changes for Jesus or are they for us?  We can reimagine and restructure all we want, but until Jesus becomes the center of our lives again – all of this is a waste of time.

Drew Downs writes, “Too Safe to Save: TREC’s final report“:

The Task Force had a monumental job and the results are in. The TREC’s final report was released with great expectation to clearly mixed reviews. The report, as it is, is strikingly middle-of-the road. It is more daring and prophetic than my lowest expectations and far less provoking of the hard, local decisions that need to be made in the Episcopal Church. They hint at the problems and nearly name them, but in the end, shy away from them with a nod and a wink. What is left are moves that, in the end, feel motivated by corporate ambitions than theological rootedness. But, it does offer hope. Just in a different way than we expect.

Nurya Parish writes, “Thank you, TREC. Church, let’s get to work.“:

TREC has offered us a prophetic message: we have not thought strategically and allocated assets effectively to serve God’s mission today. If we ignore it, we will endure the consequences.

Susan Snook writes, “Do Not Go Gentle: The TREC Report, Part One“:

TREC has made some good recommendations and some not-so-good ones.  I find myself wondering, though, why we are managing for decline instead of restructuring for growth.  First of a series of posts on the TREC report.

Scott Gunn writes, “Step away from the disintegration booth!

Scott Gunn wonders if we’re ready for reform as he applies the wisdom of Star Trek to TREC. “While we haven’t installed disintegration booths at General Convention (yet), we are living in a painful reality in
which no one seems to be able to imagine an alternative. Not just at General Convention, but across the church, we blithely do the same things over and over again, even while the vast majority of our congregations
wither. It’s costly, but how else could we possibly do things? The pain of the present is tolerable, because it’s familiar.”

Frank Logue writes, “The lever that moves the Church“:

The most important technical fix in a final report that stresses the need for adaptive change is the two-line resolve on page 8 which states, “Resolved, That the diocesan assessment percentage be lowered while making it canonically mandatory (with means for pastoral exception) for each diocese to meet that assessment.”

Using data from the 109 Dioceses, Frank Logue fills in the blanks with a new diocesan assessment.

Other responses noted on Acts8 Social Media include:

Derek Olson – One Thing on TREC

Jared Cramer – Don’t Hold the Presses, Approve (most of) this Thing! — Initial Reflections on the TREC Report

Jonathan Grieser – Strike up “Nearer my God, to Thee:” The Titanic (aka Episcopal Church) is sinking

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.

BLOGFORCE SCRAMBLE – The Final TREC Report

grumpy trecThe Taskforce for Reimagining The Episcopal Church (TREC) has issued it’s Final Report!

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 report has just been issued.  So:

  1. Take a deep breath
  2. Remember that this is the beginning of a process and conversation.

This BLOGFORCE scramble is a short-term quick response.  so it will end at 5PM, Wednesday the 17th.  A summary post will be posted on Thursday morning.  Due to the length of the report, the Ready Five will end on Friday, December 19th at Noon.


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 Wednesday the 17rth.  On Thursday, Noon on Friday the 19th.  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 – The Origin Story

This week, we challenged people to tell us how they came to the episcopal church, and then give us the 120 word synopsis as a superhero origin story:

Chris Arnold blogged, “BLOGFORCE: The Origin Story

A brainy skeptic’s attempt to think his way into the church failed time and time again. Although his mind was armored, his heart was not. An argument, a heartbreak, and a cathedral all came together at the right time. Though he was crushed, he was not destroyed, and he became The Liturgy Kid.

Andrew Amanda Leigh-Bullard blogged, “The Blazing Butterfly Saga Part 1: Origin Story

Strange forces surrounded Andrew Amanda from their earliest spark of existence. This young hero has undergone a gut-wrenching transformation in the depths of hatred and despair. Brainwashed as a child, exiled as a teen, they have recently broken forth into new life. Meet the eager faith of childhood, watch as it is cruelly twisted into a mockery of religion before being dissolved in the acid of ignorance. Watch as the brave hero-to-be battles the forces of hatred and fanaticism within two communities. Will they make it to the shelter of the fortress guarded by the bright red doors? Can they survive the pressures of this world pushing them to conform? Welcome to the first installment of the BLAZING BUTTERFLY SAGA!

Christina Wible blogged, “Episcopalian to Quaker to Episcopalian

Sitting in Quaker Meeting of a warm Sunday morning, she reflected that there wasn’t much in her life. Then, like she had heard it would happen (but not quite believed), she was on her feet preaching. The Spirit had moved through her and she knew almost at the same time that she would return to the church of her childhood, The Episcopal Church. What she didn’t know was how it would end. She still doesn’t.

From Armistead the Cat (Brendan O’Sullivan Hale belongs to him), “BLOGFORCE Challenge: The Origin Story (Part 1)

I began my days as a street cat, but fell into dissolution and begging for wet food once I moved inside. I sought refuge in the church, and came home confused but grateful, committed to sharing my faith with the stray cats outside the screen door.

The Blessing of Armistead from Brendan O’Sullivan-Hale on Vimeo.

Steve Pankey blogged, “ORIGIN STORY – AN ACTS 8 BLOGFORCE CHALLENGE

He grew up the quintessential first child, a ruler follower extraordinaire, but through the simple invitation from a Realtor® to his parents, Steve Pankey found his way into a church that is living, active, and welcomes his passion for church-nerdery, invites his questions, and has room for lots of differing opinions.

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 (11/24) 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 – The Origin Story

Storytelling is an important part of our faith as Christians.  The parables of Jesus form part of our scripture.  The stories of the saints make up a part of our tradition.  Our own stories are the ones that inform how we spread the Gospel.

So the challenge this week is to tell our stories of how we became Christians and Episcopalians.  The additional challenge is to put the 120 word abstract in the form of a Superhero Origin story, such as:

“Although a priest for years, he never really knew the true meaning of Jesus’ love until an alien from Alpha Centauri 5 gave him a magical tract that turned him into a Pamphlet Baron.”

David Simmons
Acts8 BLOGFORCE Wing Commander

Information on the graphic above: This was one of the first proposed Acts8 BLOGFORCE logos, designed by David “Comic Sans” Sibley.  He is still the only graphic designer to have ever manually kerned Comic Sans.


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 21st 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.


tweetchatLook during the week for more information on our next Acts8 tweetchat, which is scheduled for Monday, November 24th at 9PM EDT using #acts8tc

BLOGFORCE Roundup – The Million Dollar Question

This week, we asked the question, “If you had a million dollars to promote the message of Resurrection in the Episcopal Church, what would you use it for?”

 

Steve Pankey blogs, “If I had a Million Dollars“:

Anyone who is vaguely familiar with the politics of General Convention can tell you that she who holds the purse strings holds the power.  That’s why every three years, good and faithful Christians queue up to speak to the Committee on Program Budget and Finance to essentially beg for money in the triennial budget. And so it is that this question from the Acts 8 BLOGFORCE has real life implications.  If PB&F handed me a million dollars to proclaim resurrection in The Episcopal Church, what would I do with it?  Honestly, I’d probably give it away.  Well, not all of it.

Adam Trambley blogs, “The Million Dollar Question“:

Adam Trambley at The Black Giraffe proposes founding a modern monastery to develop the essential prayer, ideas and leadership for the church to proclaim resurrection.

Holli Powell blogs, “If I Had A Million Dollars, I’d be Rich

Frank Logue blogs, “The Million Dollar Resurrection Question

Nurya Parish blogs, “A Million Dollars + The Internet = Episcopal Renewal“:

Spending a million dollars for renewal in the Episcopal Church is a drop in the bucket of the current budget, but leveraging the internet enables it to make a pretty big splash.

Brendan O’Sullivan Hale blogs, “If I Had a Million Dollars“:

My bill so far is $100,000 to invest in lifting up lay and clergy voices of faith in a medium simultaneously intimate and scalable that can help people clearly articulate why Jesus matters to them. I’m going to count on my other BLOGFORCE participants to come up with a way to spend the rest of this hypothetical largesse. Except here’s the thing: it’s not hypothetical. We are a richly resourced church, but we have locked ourselves into a very specific way of spending our money. Our conversations as a church about money get so toxic in part because we are all fighting to not have to change. But if we focused a little less on preservation and a little more on spreading the good news of the risen Christ in the language of the world around us, some interesting things might start to happen.

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 (11/3) 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 – If I Had a Million Dollars…

 So let’s put the money where our mouths are.  If you had a million dollars to help “proclaim resurrection in the Episcopal Church,” where would it go and why?

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 2nd 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.


tweetchatLook during the week for more information on our next Acts8 tweetchat, which is scheduled for Monday, November 3rd at 9PM EDT using #acts8tc

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