Read it all–carefully.
Nice. Didn’t need any commentary.
Yeah, what Mark said.
Well, since it mentions the Dalai Lama and food–it reminds me of a joke: Did you hear about the Dalai Lama going to a pizza restaurant? He asked the cook to make him one with everything. Other than that, what Mark and Ian said.
So many possible jokes, so few electrons……..
One line seemed familiar:
[blockquote]Then she said that since death was inevitable, the church too would inevitably die, so we shouldnâ€™t worry about church maintenance and growth. Since we would die, we were â€œfree to live!â€ [/blockquote]
This was almost identical to what the Presiding Bishop said recently in her visit to a Diocese in the northeast. I wonder, what is the source of this line of thought?
Even when I was at seminary it was clear to me -and very irritating- that a large proportion of Episcopalian clergy are essentially spiritually and emotionally vapid. I used to wonder why they always preferred tertiary sources over primary ones in religious matters. Even today it mystifies me. Before the 1960s clergy and laity were kept in line by a shared unwritten set of orthodox expectations. Once that went out the door, everyone was free to be a “theologian”, in other words a self-important BSer. And so, now the vapidity is obvious.
I am also tempted to make jokes, but one of the more melancholy conversations I ever had in church was as a (then TEC) vestry member speaking to the diocesan deployment officer. The main purpose for the continued existence of the little parish was for the spiritual support of its elderly population (those of us who were 50ish were the “kids”). The diocese saw no hope of rejuvenating it- it was too orthodox to rapidly succumb to one of their “rising star” revisionist clergy, and in any case too small for the bishop to “waste” a young priest with any potential for success (in that diocese, there are plenty of larger urban churches in need of such). But facing the fact that its prime duty is to provide the funerals of most of the congregation over the next 10 years is disheartening.
The same seems true for the tiny TEC congregation here. TEC is rapidly turning into a sort of spiritual hospice- in these tiny parishes, they are trying not to upset anyone, just manage the decline, until they can auction off the stained glass windows and organs, and sell off the real estate after the congregation dies off or moves away to live with their adult children.
I also have had experience with the corporate ecclesiastical mind-set that leads to that sort of rationalisation (i.e. TEC and its dioceses abandoning the small and struggling congregations).
Ironically, church history has shown time and again that those who are prepared to go with the gospel to the less trendy places see their ministry greatly blessed. By abandoning these small churches, TEC leadership leaves the ground clear for ACNA and the Continuum to plant new congregations and somehow these seem to thrive in the same soil that TEC leadership saw as not worth the effort.
Even though I don’t hold to the same beliefs as them, I still find it extraordinary that the liberal leaders in TEC don’t seem to understand the nature of the threat they are facing. They may or may not win all the law suits with departing congregations, but that is not where this “conflict” is going to be decided.
What, no basketweaving?