What a whirl wind the end of last week was! Two days of battle in Sacramento warding off movements for "centralization, standardization, and a higher professionalization" of the Church. Arrrgh! I don't know whether I am into critical theory (Habermas, et al), a more charismatic sense of the church, or maybe I am just a curmudgeon. But I believe the whole church, right down to the loose change counting and light bulb changing, has to be a human, relational Lake Wobegon kind of organism -- not a corporate system of FAX's and forms.
Things were much better, but considerably busier, when I got to Reno: 6 meetings, 4 worship services, and a 4-hour workshop, plus a dinner with some church folks one night and a dinner with the new confirmands the next.
It is so very good to see Trinity on track these days. The spirit of the congregation is warm and upbeat. They are a center of hope and energy. I met parish nurses to help with our new Desert Angels ministry, a development person to help us find ways to fund diocesan mission, and someone who is actually learning about stewardship -- our Achilles' heel.
My time at Trinity left me encouraged, uplifted, and inspired. Along the way we confirmed and received a batch of new members, mostly young adults. There were about 7, a nice number, but the main thing wasn't the number. It was that they had genuinely bonded with each other and truly grasped what the Episcopal Church is about. Rev. Stefani is clearly gifted at building community. That is what we need. I am grateful beyond words for her ministry at Trinity. And the children's service, crafted by the Rev. Kathy Hopner, was the best of all -- lots of kids worshiping joyfully alongside their young parents. The church in Reno is just beginning. That is how the church should be -- always just beginning.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
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I'm with you on the no more faxes and forms part...lot's of new beginnings, compassionate ministries, and welcoming open arms extended through love,faith, and creativity.
DAN - more out of curiosity [you may choose not to reply] = Are you at all following the current sessions in TX of the ACNA formation meetings?
Nope. We're just trying to tell folks about Jesus here in Nevada. I spent my first 25 years in Texas and wasn't able to do them much good then. Now that I am old and feeble, I know I cannot be of help. So I just keep 'em in my prayers and count on my frieds Gary Lillibridge, Scott Mayer, and the other Texas bishops to take care of the good folks of the Lone Star State. As for those visiting them for ACNA, I hope they can do some good for the Kingdom in their way while we are doing our bes in our way.
DAN FYI THE RECENT ANGLICAN CHURCH OF NORTH AMERICA from the US AND CANADA which MET AT RURAL BEDFORD TX CONFERENCE INCLUDED BISHOPS AND PRIESTS FROM ALL OVER NORTH AMERICA. THE LONG EVOLVING SCHISM WITHIN OUR DENOMINATION IS NOW OFFICIAL. EFFORTS ARE BEING MADE BY THE DEPARTING ANGLICANS TO RESTORE THE PENSIONS FUNDS OF OUR ORDAINED CLERGY WHICH ARE STILL BEING USED BY THE PRESIDING BISHOP OF THE ECUS TO PAY ATTORNEYS FEES ON THE PROPERTY ISSUES and OTHER SETTLEMENTS. PASTOR RICK WARREN OF SADDLEBACK CHURCH in LAKE FOREST ORANGE COUNTY CA ADDRESSED THE GROUP IN TEXAS WITH A MOST GENEROUS OFFER THAT HIS AFFILIATED CHURCHES NATIONALLY WOULD PROVIDE SPACE ON MANY CAMPUSES TO ALLOW ANGLICANS TO HAVE THEIR WORSHIP AND EUCHARIST RITES DURING THOSE PROPERTY DISPUTES ISSUES STILL IN COURT, PENDING OR YET UNRESOLVED WHILE ATTORNEYS LINE THEIR POCKETS FROM THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH FUNDS AND CLERGY PENSIONS.
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