August 23, 2018, 12:23 PM

At General Convention in July, the Episcopal Church was invited to focus on three areas of ministry and mission:  Evangelism, Racial Reconciliation, and Stewardship of Creation.  I am trying to figure out how we might sharpen our focus here at Christ Church – and I would like to invite you to weigh in with your ideas and questions! 

On the question of Evangelism, there are two events occurring this fall and winter in our Diocese:  First, in Columbus on September 22, an introductory workshop called “Evangelism with Integrity,” that talks about what works and what helps; and second, in Indianapolis in January, a three-day Forma Conference on evangelism and liturgy. Forma describes itself as a “network for formation” (Christian education and discipleship).  There will be several moderated discussions and workshops on offer.  (If at least 3 people go, there is a price break!)  See as well, the presentations on Evangelism taped at General Convention.

On Racial Reconciliation, the goal is to “create a ‘network of healers, justice makers, and reconcilers’ who would benefit from the pool of knowledge and shared experiences of one another and those who work in this area of ministry.  See the presentation on Racial Reconciliation.  We’ll be following up on this subject in Jefferson County as a number of area groups and organizations are moving from a responsive to a proactive approach, taking the initiative away from the Klan and other hate groups, and working to create, brand, and publicize our conviction that there is no place here for hate, that we are an inclusive community, and that all are welcome.  Having a continuous,  in-depth conversation about racial divisions, healing, and reconciliation will make our community a stronger, more diverse, and friendlier place.

Finally, Stewardship of Creation has become incredibly topical as headlines on an almost-daily basis call our attention to issues of climate change,
pollution, “eco-justice,” and the importance of clean air, water, and land. 
See the presentation on creation care.

We’ll start our exploration of the stewardship of creation with a liturgical focus on Sundays from September 1 – October 4.  While we will continue to use the Revised Common Lectionary, you will notice that our hymns and prayers (and my sermons) will speak of the place creation holds in our theology and faith. 

I’m considering offering a couple classes, perhaps on the theology of creation and/or on the ins and outs, or at least the basics of climate change science.  We might gather on Sundays between the services to hold those discussions.  I’m still working on the PLAN, but will let you know (and as noted above, if you have ideas or questions, by all means pass them along!) when I have something to offer.

Here are a few basic ideas to bear in mind
Creation is Good.  Creation speaks of its Creator.  Creation praises the Creator.  Creation is designed for our good.  Humankind struggles with the concept of “dominion.”

We will be using a new mass setting, called the “Red Lake Mass,” by Monte Mason, with music adapted from Frances Densmore’s “Chippewa Music.”  Densmore was an ethnologist who spent considerable time in Minnesota, at Leech Lake, White Earth, and Red Lake in 191-13.  She recorded quite a bit of the music (on wax cylinders!) of the Anishinaabe (Ojibway) people, and from different tribes all across the country. 

You may not be aware that the Leech Lake band is now fighting the installation of an oil pipeline through their reservation’s native rice-growing lands.   What goes around…

I hope you will be able to come and learn together as we worship together the Creator of all good things, the one who binds us in love to all Creation and all people.

Blessings to all!                            Evelyn+