Last week, a “group of Episcopalians who are passionate about our churchâ€™s health and witness to the world” released “A Memorial to the Church” along with several enabling legislative resolutions. Â 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 ParishÂ writes, “This is how renewal starts â€“ reflections on #EpiscopalResurrection”
Rodger Patience writes, “The spiritual disciplines at the core”
As a practitioner and promoter of one of â€œthe spiritual disciplines at the core of our common life,â€ 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 â€œbig, exciting roomâ€ of the Scriptures, the â€œhouse built on rockâ€ (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. Â 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. Â 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. Â Into the Neighborhood.”
As a first-time deputy, I am starting to write about the issues from my perspective including TREC. Â 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. Â 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. Â What I am most excited about is the process by which the memorial and resolutions itself were generated. Itâ€™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. Itâ€™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 -Â A Memorial for the Church
Jonathan Grieser – I won’t be signing on
Kirk Smith -Â Bad News, Good News
Lionel Deimel –Â Another View of Reimagining the Church
Grumpy Episcopal CatÂ grumped,
I will be glad to add others to this list! Â Please submit them to email@example.com.
Respectfully Submitted by David Simmons, BLOGFORCE Wing Commander
The editorial board of Acts8 reserves the right to decline submissions that are deemed offensive or do not uphold the Guiding Principles.