The Great 50 Days
April 23, 2015, 12:00 AM

Alleluia, Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed, alleluia!

We mentioned that the Vestry is reading a new book on The Agile Church.  We do this because “studies … suggest a paradox: lingering widespread Christian affiliation that often lacks depth, coherence, participation, and practice; rapid erosion of religious identity…; general openness to God and spirituality; and significant resistance to organized forms of religious community,” as author Dwight Zscheile writes.

To the extent we also find ourselves in this paradox, if we want our community to thrive and grow, we need to find the path that will build up the community of God, respond to the needs of those who are seeking deeper relationship with God and a richer spirituality (which may not simply be a place to be on Sunday mornings), and provide opportunities for Christian formation for all ages.

I would like to wave my magic wand to make all this happen, but I don’t have a magic wand!

It will take work and dedication to ensure Christ Church’s future, by all those who value this place, our history, and our potential.  The old ways, the old expectations, the ones that brought many of us here and keep us here, may no longer be working the way they used to!

Churches that are growing now are very intentional about what their strengths are, and what they have to offer to the world outside their doors.  Like you, I also struggle with finding the right combination of factors that will make eyes open and hearts open and minds open.  I think the Bible study will help.  But I also think that we need to do more than just tell people we are here and they are welcome to join us anytime; no, we need to join them, too, where they are, with the questions they have, even with the doubts and trepidations they bring with them from their prior experience with other churches or with news coverage or whatever it is.

No one should fear to seek God; but many do fear being condemned and rejected, so they don’t seek God in church.  We need to bring church to them – not the panoply, not the hymns, not the sermons, but our lives lived in the image of the Living Word, Jesus Christ.

Right there where they can see us living it!