An Encouraging Church Website

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From here:

We commit ourselves to exemplify and promote the following values as a church:

* The reliability and power of the Bible, God’s Holy Word.

* The good news of redemption and restoration in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

* The necessity of the fresh life of the Holy Spirit in ministry and worship.

* The importance of the local church in the work and advancement of the kingdom of God.

* The strengthening of marriage and family relationships.

* Possessing the spirit of grace and demonstrating attitudes of graciousness in our church family and to our community.

* Generosity and biblical stewardship with our resources.

* Harmony and stability in church and family life.

* Servant-heartedness in spirit and action.

* The pursuit of personal holiness, integrity and Christ-like character.

* Excellence in all that is done in service for Christ and His church.

* Practicality in the presentation of God’s Word.

* The expression of love, friendliness and warmth in the work and worship of the church.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry

Posted December 28, 2008 at 2:39 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Mark Johnson wrote:

Is this an Episcopal church?  No communion?  They speak in tongues?

December 28, 6:38 pm | [comment link]
2. Jason Miller wrote:

Sure, it’s encouraging to see it as a church that is conservative theologically, but as a church in the Anglican tradition?  Can’t find much specifically Anglican about the place, other than a reference to Morning Prayer.  Seems like they’re doing some great things for the Lord, so don’t take this as a critique of the congregation or its leadership.  I just don’t see how this is an encouraging *Episcopal* church website—really?  What is Anglican about it?  I see no references to the Creeds, the dominical sacraments, or the historic episcopate, not even in the Core Values.

December 28, 7:42 pm | [comment link]
3. Sam Keyes wrote:

Like the above, I’m confused:  how is this church episcopal?  I see no reference to anything beyond the local church and the Bible…

December 28, 8:10 pm | [comment link]
4. Ladytenor wrote:

Church of the Redeemer is a non-denominational mega-church.  Neither Episcopal nor Anglican in any way.

December 28, 8:35 pm | [comment link]
5. Ad Orientem wrote:

RE #4
You’re right.  This is not an Episcopal church.  It appears to be Evangelical with some strong Pentecostal tendencies.

December 28, 9:14 pm | [comment link]
6. Mark Johnson wrote:

Yes, a little internet research quickly revealed this is most definitely not an Episcopal/Anglican/CANA/AMIA/REC or any variant type of church.  It’s Pentecostal.  They have some pretty harsh views of the sacraments if you root around and read some of the Pastor’s comments.  I don’t think that’s “encouraging” but maybe it’s just me.

December 28, 9:41 pm | [comment link]
7. Kendall Harmon wrote:

The posting was done in haste, but it was intended to show a contrast between two churches, an Episcopal and a non-episcopal one, in the same town.

December 28, 10:00 pm | [comment link]
8. C. Wingate wrote:

I don’t want to hammer on the juxtaposition of the two websites too much. Certainly this website tells me immediately that I’m not going to want to go there. It has the classic emergent look, though not as attitudinal as that of Crossroads Community Church’s coffee cup; at least it admits that it is a church website. But it still promises that liturgy isn’t going to happen. (Indeed, the pictures promise “rock concert with preaching.”)

What I’m more interested in is what this tells us about how people look at church websites. Again, extrapolation from my own reading is dichotomous. I’m a parishioner in a liturgical church, so I know what I want in a church; in general I do not read parish websites from the perspective of someone church-shopping. I’m most interested in church history, church buildings, and other such permanent stuff; incumbents are transient, and a new pastor can wreck a place in weeks. But I also look at church websites from the perspective of someone who has spent twenty years in the on-line religion scene, and who is very interested in the ways that churches use websites. And one finds that Episcopal parish websites are not, for the most part, intent on selling outsiders on their (generally low Protestant) orthodoxy. The way the differentiate themselves from other churches is partly by selling the Anglican attention to liturgy, and partly be either stressing a lack of dogmatism or ignoring the issue altogether. Oh, and for some reasons the clerics always have to list how many dogs and cats they have, which must mean something—though I haven’t worked out what. ECUSA parishes also aren’t as a rule prone to the emergent tendency of constructing websites that try not to tell you much; they tend to be unabashedly church websites.

That to me is the most telling difference (the churchiness, not the cats). A place like Church of the Redeemer, worse, one of the emergent places, has a website that exhibits, through omission, a lack of confidence in the church as an institution. Crossroad is even more so. Therefore a lot of these places try to not look institutional, but buried somewhere in the site is usually some kind of doctrinal statement which is necessary for people to identify them as Christians. Indeed, a lot of these websites seem to be constructed so as to hide that theologically/liturgically/historically they are connected to the old American free Protestant movements by inclination if not institutionally. Episcopalians aren’t afraid of being institutional, and tend to even glory in it a bit; they tend to be proud to present themselves as part of the Anglican franchise.

I think this says a lot about how even many conservative/orthodox Anglicans see their interaction with their church, and particularly that it’s not just a matter of subscribing to what the rector personally holds to.

December 29, 5:17 pm | [comment link]
9. Dan Crawford wrote:

Thanks, Kendall, for the clarification. I was beginning to fear that we were seeing the emrging shape of the new North American Province.

December 29, 5:52 pm | [comment link]
Registered members must log in to comment.

Next entry (above): A Discouraging Episcopal Church website (in the same town)

Previous entry (below): Keeping the faith, leaving the fold

Return to blog homepage

Return to Mobile view (headlines)