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