Where are we going from here?
Last week I talked briefly about the annual meeting and going out to immediately follow Jesus in the ministry of the Church. I also talked about two articles I had just read, one entitled “Twelve-Hour Coffee Hour” and one around the issue of Prayer Book revision; both articles had to do with getting out into the world. Whereas last week I focused on the “Twelve-Hour Coffee Hour,” this week I'm going to focus on Prayer Book revision.
Now before anyone starts to panic, this isn't even a certainty. The 2018 General Convention will be deciding a course to take regarding revision, and it isn't clear what the results will be. Because of this, TLC has been running an ongoing series around this topic with people weighing in on any number of sides. This particular article was written by the Rev. Scott Gunn, the executive director of Forward Movement (the publisher of Day-by-Day). He made two comments that were especially appropriate for us at this point in time.
The first thing Fr. Gunn said was, “The Church's place is gathered around the altar, but the place of the Church's members is out in the world, doing mission work and sharing the good news of God in Christ.”
Worship, and particularly the Eucharist, is our center. Everything we do should emanate from our act of adoration and participation in the life of God. As the Church, it is what we do; for no other organization has as its central focus the worship of God and the feeding of God's people. But as individual members of the Church, as the various parts of the body of Christ, we are each called to serve God in a variety of ways, all of which should be based in the sharing of the good news of God in Christ. “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord,” doesn't mean we are finished for the day, it means our work week is just beginning.
His second comment was, “Lately I have wondered if we would do well to offer a robust Morning Prayer on Sunday, geared especially toward seekers.”
According to Fr. Gunn, the Daily Offices are the perfect place to introduce seekers to the church because 1) you never have to leave your seat; and 2) it's an easier service to learn.
As some of you know, I offered daily Morning Prayer when I was at St. Luke's. After getting settled in and mulling this over for a few months, I don't think that is doable here. However, a regular Evening Prayer and/or Evensong seems to be much more practical. So with that in mind, and working through various schedules, I will begin offering an Evening Prayer service every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday beginning March 6. Be looking for more information in the coming weeks.
As we begin moving forward, I invite you into a deeper knowledge and love of God through a deeper corporate worship, and I invite you to look for ways that your worship of God can inform how you work to share the good news of God in Christ in the world around us.
I also invite you to invite people to join us for a safe, robust, quiet, and moving service of Evening Prayer.