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The chuch and the Dodo bird

The chuch and the Dodo bird

As The Episcopal Church begins the process of re-imagining itself, or at least its governing structures, we should pay special attention to those in the midst of a similar process. In this brief essay, Alison Boulton, a Baptist minister in England compares Christian churches to fat, flightless Dodo birds, and wonders if the time hasn’t come to shed some weight.

Learning to fly would involve slimming down – shedding some fat and embracing simplicity. Not perceiving any urgency or threat have we focused upon church as a place to get fed – where possible with a wide variety of gourmet food? Hours are spent preparing the Sunday feast – a well crafted sermon, creative and well produced worship, beautiful prayers. And then the food critics kick in and argue about sermon styles, song choices or the professionalism of the event. Is this a healthy diet? Or would something simpler to prepare give us more time to do other things; things that feed others not at the Sunday feast, and something that could be replicated during the week by individuals and small groups?

Have a look at her essay and let us know what you think.

Hat tip, Bishop Alan Wilson

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Gregory Orloff

I second Scott and Donna. The Book of Common Prayer provides both repetition and rhythm, both of which are necessary for us to "get in the groove," "stay the course," learn and grow. And needless to say, without the Eucharist, there's no church, for "we who are many are one body, for we share one bread, one cup," which nourish us with Christ's own body and blood. Celebrating the Eucharist and following the Book of Common Prayer throughout the year, one finds plenty of variety and flexibility as well as continuity. Liturgy needn't be "stale" -- it's all in how well one does it and participates in it. In fact, it can be liberatingly rooted and grounded compared to making up "something new" every week.

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Donna McNiel

I get to visit many different congregations in different mainline denominations each Sunday. I have gained an even greater appreciation for the BCP, that doesn't require weekly innovation. The same liturgy repeated each week, with collects, readings, etc., repeated each year, make is easier for me to settle in to worship and really be present, rather than working to keep up with this week's offerings. I agree with Boulton and think we Episcopalians shouldn't get too enamored with innovation. (Nor should we become entirely stale! Boulton's right to remind us to walk the line.)

Donna McNiel, New Mexico Conference of Churches

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Scott Cooper

I was attracted to and have stayed in the Episcopal Church because it is a reliable source of spiritual food, every Sunday without fail. Individual prayer, the Daily Office, and small group formation are vital to the Christian experience, but if you take away my Sunday Eucharist, I will take my bat and my ball and go home.

Scott Cooper

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