Sometimes, I think we confuse the work of the church and the work of disciples. The church — literally, the ekklesia, the community — is found where Christians are gathered. The work of the church is to offer prayer and praise; to proclaim the Gospel; and to promote justice, peace, and love.
I’m interested in what I see as an inherent invitation to empathy in the way the vote results were made known. I’m also intrigued by some of the responses I saw to the final result.
I’d like to offer a few thoughts and reflections from my time at the recently concluded General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada.
There’s not a wrong way to pray. Have a look in the scriptures, and you’ll see people praying all kinds of ways — and you’ll see folks who fail to pray very well at all. St. Paul exhorts us to pray without ceasing, but that prayer can take many forms. For some people, the daily office works brilliantly. For others, contemplative prayer is where it’s at.
Jesus taught us to love everyone, and whether or not we like them has no bearing on it. Christian love is not about emotions, it is about grace. Christian love does not come with a Hollywood soundtrack, but rather with the sweaty brow of hard work.
In an annual tradition, here is the customary Epiphany Proclamation, to be read out at services today and shared with the faithful. Since I am not serving in a parish, I am pleased to share this with you, dear reader, here on 7WD.
Back in July, an article on evangelism and race was the cover story in Christianity Today (“Dear Pastor, Can I Come to Your Church?”). The author set out to answer a vital question, “Do Christian churches in the United States actually welcome people from different racial and ethnic groups?” Turns out, the Episcopal Church does not have a good record on race and evangelism.
I pulled a blogging muscle in the run-up to General Convention last spring. Of course, I don’t mean a literal muscle. Just got a bit worn out, so I’ve had a rest. But it’s time to write again! As soon as I get all the cobwebs cleared, I’ll have more to say on the usual topics and maybe some new ones.
We’re looking at four structure resolutions today. Three resolutions are to restructure executive council, to reduce the number of standing commissions, and to reform our budgeting process. We’ll also look at a resolution on provinces. Time is short, but I’d like to share a few brief thoughts on these resolutions.
Now is the time. If you are a bishop or deputy, pray earnestly. Be bold! Be not afraid! If you are not here at convention, pray for your bishops and deputies. Reach out to them and share with them your hopes for action for the sake of the Gospel.
In any case, after dinner and dessert, I arrived back in my hotel room only to notice sixteen more resolutions now posted online. Zoinks! I’m sure there will still be even a few more coming. Anyway, here are the latest resolutions.
A Facebook friend asked what he should binge-watch next. Knowing that he’s a serious church nerd, I naturally suggested the upcoming General Convention. Did you know that’s an option? Sure, it’s not on Netflix (yet), but you can still binge-watch hours and hours of worship and deliberation from the General Convention.