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

BLOGFORCE Roundup – The Haiku

As the second part of the Acts8 BLOGFORCE summer fun, we challenged readers to write in with their Episcopal Haiku.    To recap – a little about Haiku:

From Wikipedia:

Haiku (俳句 haikai verse?)About this sound listen  (no separate plural form) is a very short form of Japanese poetry typically characterised by three qualities:

  • The essence of haiku is “cutting” (kiru).[1] This is often represented by the juxtaposition of two images or ideas and a kireji(“cutting word”) between them,[2] a kind of verbal punctuation mark which signals the moment of separation and colors the manner in which the juxtaposed elements are related.
  • Traditional haiku consist of 17 on (also known as morae), in three phrases of 5, 7 and 5 on respectively.[3]
  • kigo (seasonal reference), usually drawn from a saijiki, an extensive but defined list of such words.

And now on with the EpisKu:

Rodger Patience Blogged:

Snow Lantern (See photo on site)

Yukimi-gata
ordinarily holds snow;
these green days build peace.

John  Talbert e-mailed:

come through the red door
break bread and be forgiven
go forth, Christ in you

Andrew Amanda Leigh-Bullard Blogged several haiku, of which one is:

Worship

Candles and incense
Silence lingers after chant
Share a holy space

Rosalind Hughes blogged:

Vespers

Sunset on steeple.
Shadows lengthen; silence falls
Still, fire burns inside

Jonathan Sams blogged several haiku, of which one is:

Altar Guild forgot
Early Eucharist today:
Extreme repentance.

Patricia Marks emailed two haiku:

Newcomer amazed–
coffee-hour means cookies.
What a sweet welcome!

Talkative toddler
paraphrases the sermon.
At least he heard it.

Betsy Hellman wrote on Facebook:

On Haiku Wednesday
Opportunity abounds
To express your faith

Neil Alan Willard wrote on Facebook:

What makes sense of things:
scripture, tradition, reason,
intertwined with love.

Adam Trambley blogged several haiku, of which one is:

One thing is needed
for ECW and free lunches:
Refrigerators.

Julian Long wrote on Facebook:

I know I left you
(Or perhaps the Church left me)
But I still love you

Nurya Love Parish tweeted:

So much to offer
Here & now; this time, this place
ancient paths made new.

Grey Maggiano tweeted:

Joe is gullible.
Peter is an idiot.
God loves you, too.

Holli Powell tweeted:

The body of Christ
the bread placed between my palms
broken, just like me.

Hanna Proctor tweeted:

Cupped palms before me–
“This is Christ’s Blood, shed for you.”
My dead heart now beats.

Walking on water,
“Truly, you’re the Son of God”
Jesus saves Peter.

Brendan O’Sullivan Hale blogged several haiku, of which one is:

A few drops of water
Trickling across my forehead.
Now baptized, I wept.

he also tweeted:

Church with no AC
Mid-morning sun bakes the bricks
Hot Mass on Sunday.

Several people responded to a challenge from the Collect Call to make the collect for Proper 14 a haiku.

Hannah Proctor tweeted:

We think and we do
Live according to God’s will
Only through Jesus.

Andrew Amanda Leigh-Bullard tweeted:

Living by your will
Spirit that leads us to right
Grant to us O Lord

B Snyder tweeted:

in You we live and
move and have our being; guide
us into Your truth.

Tom Lutes tweeted:

Ground of All Being
Continue to think of us
And we live by you

Jennifer Dinzeo tweeted:

We need you, Oh, Lord
May your Spirit guide our feet
To live Jesus’ way


 Continue the Conversation on Twitter!

tweetchatActs8 will be hosting a one-hour tweetchat moderated by The Megan Castellan (@revlucymeg) on the evening of this roundup (8/11) at 9PM EDT/6PM PDT.  Use the hashtag #acts8tc.


Stay tuned for (possibly) more weighty BLOGFORCE challenges!

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

BLOGFORCE Summer Fun: The Haiku

Summer Fun continues with the Acts8 BLOGFORCE!  We’re doing some lighter subjects this summer, which started with the Grumpy Episcopal Cat meme last month.

This week’s challenge: Write a haiku about the Episcopal Church.

To quote Wikipedia:

Haiku (俳句 haikai verse?)About this sound listen  (no separate plural form) is a very short form of Japanese poetry typically characterised by three qualities:

  • The essence of haiku is “cutting” (kiru).[1] This is often represented by the juxtaposition of two images or ideas and a kireji(“cutting word”) between them,[2] a kind of verbal punctuation mark which signals the moment of separation and colors the manner in which the juxtaposed elements are related.
  • Traditional haiku consist of 17 on (also known as morae), in three phrases of 5, 7 and 5 on respectively.[3]
  • kigo (seasonal reference), usually drawn from a saijiki, an extensive but defined list of such words.

We’re not gonna insist on a particularly deep kiru, or that you use a kigo, but we do insist on a 5-7-5 pattern, whether your poem is sublime or doggerel.  Like this:

Via Media,
It sometimes gets so messy.
Ah, the liturgy.

The Rev. David Simmons, ObJN
Acts8 BLOGFORCE Wing Commander


How do I participate in the Blogforce?

You can send your haiku to blogforce@acts8moment.org and it will be posted to our roundup next Monday, or post it in the comments.  If you want to put it on your own blog:

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 the haiku to blogforce@acts8moment.org.  This should be done by no later than 5PM Central Time on Sunday.  On Monday, the haiku 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 11th at 9PM EDT using #acts8tc

BLOGFORCE Roundup – Top Episcopal Grumpy Cat Captions

This last week, the BLOGFORCE was asked to explore the intersection between humor and faith by taking on the weighty task of captioning Grumpy Episcopal Cat.  Without further ado, here are the top five vote getters:

 

52232106

52219394

52225393

52215773

52213124

Continue the Conversation on Twitter!

tweetchatActs8 will be hosting a one-hour tweetchat on faith and humor moderated by Brendan O’Sullivan-Hale (@indybrendan) on the evening of this roundup (7/14) at 9PM EDT/6PM PDT.  Use the hashtag #acts8tc.


Stay tuned for (possibly) more weighty BLOGFORCE challenges!

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 Meme

It’s now time for the BLOGFORCE to do something a little more serious – combine the literary power of LOLCats with the beauty of the National Cathedral. The venerable Grumpy Orthodox Cat meme has been around for a while, so this week we present “Grumpy Episcopal Cat.”   52078215 The Rev. David Simmons, ObJN Acts8 BLOGFORCE Wing Commander


How do I participate in the Meme?

  1. Go to Caption Image for Grumpy Episcopal Cat on memegenerator.net.
  2. Enter the top and bottom text, click on the little british flag for English and click “Generate”
  3. You can go to the main Grumpy Episcopal Cat page on Memegenerator.net and vote on your favorites.
  4. Share your meme submission far and wide.
  5. If you are one of the cat-loving co-hosts of The Collect Call, please don’t spam the meme.
  6. On Monday morning, the top 5 vote-getters will be posted here at Acts 8.  The meme generator will remain active.

BlogforceVertical

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 July 14th at 9PM EDT using #acts8tc