The frozen chosen are thawing out.
Yep, Episcopalians, like the rest of the Protestant Mainlines (Presbyterian, Methodist, Congregational etc.) have this lingering reputation for caring more about our institutions, social status and keeping Jesus at a safe distance (because we don’t want to be like those Christians). We were deeply formed by our surroundings when our membership hit its peak in the 1960’s, which was about 3.1 million members compared to 2.2 million today. That’s when it seemed like everybody went to a church. And the church’s job was not to make disciples as much as to make good denomination members. Mainlines looked a lot like Kiwanis Clubs, understanding church as a religious place for social acceptability and business contacts. There were no real demands other than conforming to some sort of vague Protestant morality.
But that was then and this is now.
More and more Episcopal congregations are rediscovering the deep and distinctive spiritual practices that are at the root of our faith. It’s no longer about church - it’s about God. More and more congregations are finding new vitality, new life and moving encounters with the Almighty through the age-old disciplines like prayer, Scripture study and gratitude, to name a few.
The good folks at CREDO are taking this seriously. They’re publishing a resource guide to spiritual practices. Check them out at: http://tiny.cc/o6fy3 http://tiny.cc/ppxk3 http://tiny.cc/izqum
Integral to the renewal of the mainline church is getting the focus back on the Lord. God must be the focal point of our preaching, worship, and life together. We must turn all eyes on God – the God who is, the God who has done, and the God who is doing. Spiritual practices help us do that.
What spiritual practices have played important roles in your life? How have they brought you closer to Jesus and for caring for the world? Leave a post on the home page and let others know.