2020 – Evolving Faith, Evolving Ministry
Since his installation as the 27th Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church on November 1, 2015, Michael Curry has most constantly proclaimed, “We are the Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement”.
The Jesus Movement! A movement that began long ago, with roots deep in the soil of Judaism and in the heart of God. We are a movement. That’s who we are. And the more we are who we are; the more will become possible beyond what we could even ask or imagine.
In 2020 St. Francis Episcopal Church will be moving to become all God is calling us to be in the West Ashley neighborhood of greater Charleston and beyond. We will be taking risks, striving to achieve His will for us, beyond what we might even ask or imagine. It is the continuation of a movement, the story of an evolving faith and evolving ministry.
More and more of us are hoping, praying, and dedicating ourselves to a new vision of Christianity. One that emphasizes being a people of the Way of Jesus of Nazareth. A trans-denominational movement of contemplative spiritual activism, which is more
decentralized and diverse rather than centralized and uniform. In other words, it will have the shape of a movement rather than an institution. It will be drawn together by unity in way of life, mission, practices, and vision for the common good.
This, of course, was Jesus’ original approach. He never announced to his disciples: “Hey folks, we’re going to start a new, centralized, institutional religion and name it after me.” Instead, he played the role of a nonviolent leader and launched his movement with the classic words of movement, “Follow me”. He used his power to empower others. He did great things to inspire his followers to do even greater things. Rather than demand uniformity, he reminded his disciples that he had “sheep of other folds”; He recruited diverse disciples who learned—by heart—his core vision and way of life. Then he sent these disciples out as apostles to teach and multiply his vision and way of life among “all the nations”.
During his lifetime, Jesus repeatedly explained, the dangerous, turbulent, concerning events of the world, together with the failure of existing institutions, made HIS strategy essential: “The time is ripe,” he said (Luke 10:2, slightly paraphrased), “and we need more laborers.” Laborers willing to join God to bring radical healing and change to this damaged world, before it’s too late.
The issues raised by Jim Wallis in his book Christ in Crisis; Why We Need to Reclaim Jesus should remind any of us who proclaim to follow Jesus, that words are not enough. In many respects, the times in which we live are no less dangerous than the times in which Jesus walked the earth. Most especially in such times, words of protest are not enough. As the movement, we must follow the wisdom of Teresa of Avila:
“Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”
A Message from Fr. Michael
In The Episcopal Church, we strive to love our neighbors as ourselves and respect the dignity of every person.
Father Michael Celebrates the Start of Advent
Holy Eucharist Service
Holy Spirit Lutheran Church
3075 Bees Ferry Road
Charleston, SC 29414