Away for Easter?
March 28, 2019, 11:41 AM

I know many of you will not be in church during Holy Week and/or Easter.  Some will be traveling, others will be spending time with unchurched family members; others maybe will have to work, or are busy, or are tired, or are ill, or even may just be discouraged, or wonder why, if we are saved by grace, this particular commemoration even matters to them.

If you will be traveling, I want to invite you to attend Holy Week and/or Easter services where you are.   Even if it's not an Episcopal Church!  Even if (or especially if) the language is not English!  Steep yourself in the experience of difference.  Pray.  Listen to the music and the silences.  Do a visual survey of who is present.  Watch how the presiders conduct the worship.  Notice what strikes you as new and wondrous or grating.  Write down your reflections; what feelings did the experience evoke?  What did you particularly like?  How did that speak to you?  What was difficult?  Was there an "aha" moment or a moment that made you uncomfortable - how so?

Families - if they don't go to church, ask why.  What pushed them out the door?  What brings you back?  Do you ask about their faith journeys? Do you tell them about yours?

Have we so normalized the Good News in our lives that it no longer excites us?   Or are we "done with church"?  How do we know the difference?  If our Sunday attendance is less regular, is it because we don't feel the need for worshiping together in community?  Is it because worship is boring?  Is it because we get our spiritual sustenance elsewhere, and if so, where and what does that look like?

The questions are important, but the answers - those are the things that will tell us something useful.  The answers tell us we are not immune to the larger cultural context in which we find ourselves.  Until we talk about the answers in community, we will not be able to figure out our common way forward.  If we're going to continue to be church, we'll need to figure out what Christ Church is when worshiping the way we always have, inside our lovely, beloved, historic building, isn't working.

Here's an example:  an adaptation that I must make:  We had only one person sign up to help at the Great Vigil of Easter!  So, after discussing this with Bp Jennifer and Starla, we will hold the service in the Great Hall.  Historical attendance is fairly low; and with suitable decoration, the Great Hall will be a more intimate space for this.  How will we do it?  You'd best come and see!  But there is a whisper about champagne….

Much love and many blessings to you all!