Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
A troubling headline, yes! But the immediate issue and question for us is what does it mean to us here at All Saints.
We can't deflect some of the concerns of the report but All Saints is currently in a growth stage. Young and old seem to enjoy our worship and are able to be in relationship with God here. People commune with one another and build relationships here. We care for, feed, house those who are struggling. We provide classes that enable people to explore deep spiritual issues. All Saints is a place that engages the world with all its joys and struggles. That is what life is.
In Sunday's Christian formation class we speak about what is going on in the world around us and how we can share what we have here at All Saints. One of the authors and theologians I often quote from and have learned a lot from is Brian McLaren, a recovering fundamental evangelical, who currently attends an Episcopal church. One of Brian's most often quoted comments is his belief that Episcopalians have to "Seize the Episcopal Moment."
In this statement I believe he is saying that our Episcopal Church with its love of tradition, focus on social ills, embracing ambiguity and dynamic tension is poised to grow exponentially if we are willing to share what we have here with others.
A few weeks ago at our Ministry & Mission Conference in Asheville the Bishop of Atlanta, The Rt. Rev. Robert Wright, spoke to us about many things. One of the saddest implications on us as Episcopalians is that as a tradition we invite a friend, neighbor, colleague to church once every 26.3 years.
I hope you all jump back at that statistic. We are called to share God's love with the world and we have something going for us here as Episcopalians. We have beautiful liturgy, worship, socially aware people, ambiguity, mystery, dynamic tension, sacraments...I could go on but each and every one of you get my point.
We have a great thing here at All Saints and the world needs what we have to offer. We can't be like the disciples throwing their nets on the wrong side of the boat all the time. Sometimes we have to get outside our comfort zones and share with the world the love of Christ as it is experienced here at All Saints. So today, right now, this week, soon invite a friend neighbor or colleague to see what we're about. Seize the Episcopal moment...not for us but for the world!
See ya Sunday!
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