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Posted by Kendall Harmon

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori

6 Comments
Posted July 29, 2010 at 4:58 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Steven in Falls Church wrote:

From Facebook, a question came in asking the presiding bishop to offer advice to struggling, small congregations that need new members. Rather than recruit new members, Jefferts Schori advised such congregations to look to the needs of the community and find ways to address those needs.

I see Kate’s at Kubler-Ross, Stage Five.  The prospects of church growth are terminal, so let’s just accept that fact and go on and do other stuff.

July 29, 5:53 pm | [comment link]
2. R. Eric Sawyer wrote:

I don’t know that I agree. Ms Schori’s advice is not all that different from advice I’ve heard before:
“It is an error to worry over-much about numbers. Be about the ‘work of the Gospel’ and leave the numbers to God”

Of course, the significant difference is that she sees these “social needs” works as being “the work of the Gospel”, and the prime mission of the Church. The orthodox position sees those good things as decidedly secondary; the fruit of the Gospel having done it’s work, and by no means to be confused with the true Gospel of Christ.

July 29, 6:12 pm | [comment link]
3. Intercessor wrote:

Quite a Peace Corps secular attitude exuded here. Were there no questions on the lawsuits? Defrocking of Bishops? Selling seized property to Muslim groups. How numb are these parishoners or am I so old news?
Intercessor

July 29, 7:38 pm | [comment link]
4. Undergroundpewster wrote:

Mission is again defined as spreading good works. Not exactly my idea of spreading the Good News. A secondary effect perhaps…

July 29, 9:28 pm | [comment link]
5. Billy wrote:

What’s with her attack on the MS delta region? 

And she acts as if The Episcopal Church of the Sudan is just a branch of TEC.  Isn’t that a totally separate province?

July 30, 2:15 pm | [comment link]
6. Rob Eaton+ wrote:

Steven,
If someone from, say, a church-planting denomination or parachurch organization were to say that about meeting community needs in response to the small church questioner (who is most likely in a state of semi-desperation, and really looking for immediate numbers) I would interpret that positively as a strategy:  meet the need, share the Gospel, bring to faith, assimilate through discipleship, etc.
However, when the PB says it, I can’t help but interpret the comment negatively as you did, or as Eric did in the second half of his comment (where Gospel outreach means social ministry only).  Unfortunately, the PB is not the originator of such unbalanced approach (if that is true).  TECUSA and other mainline denominations have been struggling with this for a long time.  But of course, as the PB - and as she has willingly taken onto herself - she is the main articulator of such.
Perhaps Stage 5 exists because these mainlines have SUCH a negative momentum so that even our greater attempts to change things around (such as the Decade of Evangelism, or the financially betrayed 2020 venture) go tractionless.
In fact, if we ever heard her say the former (something like Willow Creek’s relationship evangelism) it would be simply hard to believe.
Sad and tragic.
And may God bless the small congregations (all 75% of them).

July 30, 3:21 pm | [comment link]
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