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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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The population of our state is exploding. Faithfulness to our Lord’s Great Commission requires that we need to develop a mission strategy to take advantage of this significant opportunity—a challenge and a blessing dropped in our laps. So my second specific goal is to have in place a plan for planting new missions, and a strategy for assisting congregations already in place. Let me state parenthetically that further enrichment of our ministry with our Spanish-speaking brothers and sisters is an indispensable part of our mission strategy, not just for the future, but for here and now.
Beloved, we cannot be content with the level of Christian education and formation we received in grammar school. So, third, let’s greet the next bishop with programs—wherever we have an altar, wherever we have a congregation—for growing in our understanding and practice of the Christian faith—a plan for education and formation “from the womb to the tomb”. “To think with the mind of Christ” requires knowledge—constantly growing knowledge and a comfortable familiarity—with Holy Scripture, the Tradition of the Church, and Reason—all under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Finally, we cannot ignore the great opportunity that we have—unique to our day and time—to be doing the work that Christ would have us do—to be faithful to his self-proclaimed mission to “bring good news to the poor…to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, (and to) proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor”. That blessed opportunity comes to us as the Millennium Development Goals. Episcopalians in USC are off to a great start in numerous, exciting ventures in mission associated with the MDGs. This is not so much a goal in itself as it is a way to measure how effective we have been with the three challenges I have set before you: the Healthy Church Initiative, mission strategy, and Christian formation. Our involvement in reaching the MDG’s is a thermometer for gauging spiritual health and mission accomplishment—and, along with evangelism, a demonstration of our commitment “to act in the world as the Body of Christ”.
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