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Helping TREC re-imagine the Episcopal Church 2

Helping TREC re-imagine the Episcopal Church 2

The Task Force for Re-imagining the Episcopal Church is asking for feedback from across the church. They propose four prompts to stimulate conversation.

We are going to roll those prompts out in two and a half hour intervals today. This is the second.

As with all change, moving forward requires letting go of some things that were useful in the past. It also requires holding on to a few things that are core to who you are. Tell me your thoughts about what to hold and what to let go. As you think about what you just said, what is the one thing The Church should hold on to and the thing it could let go.


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Hold on to: the Catholic Faith (the Incarnation, the sacraments, the creeds)

Drop: The ridiculous, definite article including nickname, and the pretense that we are not primarily a US church. In point of fact we are not “The” Episcopal Church – the Anglican Communion is rife with them (e.g. the Scottish Episcopal Church). Trying to lay claim to sole possession of the unmodified title is arrogant. And pretending that we our our own little international communion is ecclesiastical colonialism.

Bill Dilworth

Eric Funston

Hold on to: the Sacraments, all seven of them.

Hold on to the historic creeds, but improve education about creedal metaphor, and the difference in and relationship between a statement of what the community believes and what the individual believes.

Hold on to an understanding of belief as trust and exploration and let go of the idea that belief is intellectual acceptance of dogmatic statements.

Let go of biblical literalism and hold on to the bible as a collection of stories, not a rule book.

Let go of the notion that worship must be “prayerful” and “dignified” and “stately”.

Hold on to worship that is vibrant and lively and life-affirming and empowering.

Let go of the idea that bishops are administrative hierarchs or CEOs of diocese.

Hold on to the concept of bishops as pastors to the clergy.

Eliot Field

Let go of the antique Nicene creed, and all lingo that smacks of any pre-Hubble literalism, and any personifications, and, while we’re at it, let go of the word “belief” (and “believe”), and welcome the word “behold.”

Hold onto metaphor, symbol, and the Eucharist.

Connie Clark

We can’t ever let go of the Word of God OR the Sacraments as central to our worship and the life of the church.

Let go of exclusively using liturgies that (unintentionally) keep people out by being too difficult to read and follow. Develop simpler liturgies for a less-literate population, and use them regularly.

Kit Carlson

Hold on to: eucharist

Let go of: meetings — and meetings about meetings — and meetings to improve meetings — and meetings to restructure future meetings …

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