Friday, July 17, 2009

Email from another parishioner here - not gone but bags are packed...

"...the argument about the morality of bringing in “baby Christians” to TEC is devastating – one of our main missions [growth by evangelism] is approaching unrealistic – it takes me very close to the tipping point."

It is worth noting that I have not made any public communication, beyond this blog (which is not universally read), with the parish about General Convention. The only things that have been out and about were requests to pray for the Convention and for our South Dakota Deputation. I was clear that we would not have any "forums" until all of the business was done and we could get official, final versions of resolutions, budget and other actions. We will have one of our Diocesan Deputies coming out to share impressions, but that isn't until September.

In other words, my initial "leavers" and "potential leavers" are looking at news sources and coming to their own decisions. I haven't even had a chance to state my reaction to the Convention, and people are already out the door (or looking toward it) because the decisions of the Convention speak for themselves.

FWIW, the specific language in our July prayer focus has been:

"Please pray for the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, which meets from the 8th - 17th of this month. Ask for God's will to be done and for the wisdom to understand and respond."

It sounds like God is answering that prayer with "redeployment orders" for at least some of Good Shepherd's people. We have been blessed to have them for a time, and they will be blessed by and blessings to the churches to which they are led. Departures have been with hugs and blessings all around, although I am mightily sad.


Matthew said...

I was tempted to make a snarky comment about inclusivity drawing 'em in, but let's face it. This is the reason the Episcopal Church doesn't do evangelism. How can you ask someone to come to a church whose leadership humiliates themselves at their best moments and embraces full tilt heresy at their worst?

I understand why people stay. I understand why priests and bishops stay. And I admire them, just as I admire people who work in hospices, and for much the same reason.

I don't want to be a complete Puddleglum, so do remember that anyone you bring to Christ is a victory. And there is a glory there that no amount of Anaheim tarnish can stain.

TLF+ said...

If not for the hammock, I would swear that kitten is leading a charismatic liturgy.

But seriously, thanks so much for the encouraging truth. This is all about Christ and his new creation! It isn't about my survival (darn it), or that of my parish or a denomination. It is about people coming to know Jesus as Savior - how the Spirit deploys them on earth is part of a beautiful plan with eternal worth.

Jeffersonian said...

Sadly, Father Tim, TEC is rotting like the fish your PB once studied: From the head down. We were in ECUSA at one time, and my wife is a cradle Episcopalian. But when I started hearing heresy preached from the pulpit at our parish (by our bishop, no less), I told her the handwriting was on the wall. She denied it until it became too obvious. We left before the VGR fiasco, and are at an AMiA parish and generally happy.

I'm certain you're a faithful, orthodox rector, Tim, but you can't hold back the tide coming from TEC. Your parishoners know this and are acting accordingly. Don't take it personally.

joseph651 said...

What is hard for me to understand is why, a Teacher of God's words does not understand the part about being lead by false profits? You will be in my prays for all his lost sheep.

TLF+ said...

joseph651 - Acts 16:6, sometimes the Spirit prevents a move in order to set up something more useful to God. This has taken place in my case, although I can't share all the details.

I Timothy 5:8, to impoverish my family by a headstrong act would offend God himself.

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