Take a look at this blog post from July by a priest in the Diocese of Indianapolis, the Rev. Whitney Rice, published on her blog “Roof Crashers & Hem Grabbers.”
“Our paradigm of success being the route to God’s favor has resulted in a bloated, rich, powerful Christianity that has become dogmatic and spiritually stunted.”
I think Jesus is calling us to something quite different.”
“…there are two distinct options here.
“There is death that ends in death, as in, end of story, here lies the Episcopal Church, crumbled to dust and irrelevance.
“And then there is death that leads to resurrection.
“I know which I’d rather be a part of.
“The death that leads to resurrection is a death freely entered into, an embrace of the Cross that is undergirded by the knowledge that God will call us into and through this death into new life.
“The point of openly acknowledging the decline and death of the church is not to lock the doors after the service today never to open them again.
“The point is not to give ourselves an excuse for not doing the hard work of Christian community.
“The point of embracing the death of the church is the same as it is for us as individuals—Jesus’ death on the Cross was above all the source of our liberation.
“The death of the church is our great liberation from all the power and wealth that have so often led us astray.”
The Rev. Jesse Zink, an Episcopal priest who is working on his doctorate at the University of Cambridge, recently published a post on his blog, www.jessezink.com that was picked up by the Episcopal Church Foundation’s Vital Practices blog, “Can a Starbuck barista find a place in the Episcopal Church.”
He wonders at the current emphasis in Episcopal circles on joining God’s mission and who among us has the time to “do mission.” He writes,
“In my experience of the Episcopal Church, Episcopalians are people who come from an action-oriented stratum of society that is used to exercising its own agency. When we hear calls to “mend the world,” we might think it’s a tall order but we might also think it’s not unreasonable to start making plans.
“All of this came to mind while reading a lengthy investigation in the New York Times recently about modern labour practices. The article focused on a young, single-mother who has no certainty in her work schedule from Starbucks and so ends up living a life of constant chaos, torn between child care, work, transit between the two, and with barely any time for any of her major life goals, like education or a driver’s license.
“The article doesn’t say but I’d guess that this young woman is not a member of the Episcopal church. She may not be a member of any church, in fact. But let’s imagine she walks into her local Episcopal church on a Sunday morning and hears a sermon exhorting her to join in the mission of God, to get out there and build the kingdom, to do, to labour, to work. It’s not unreasonable to think that her response might be, “I can barely keep my head above water as it is. Why would I want to join a church that tells me I need to do more work?”
What do you think about these posts? Let us know in the comments.