Monday, October 11, 2010

How might a Biblically grounded Episcopal Church be like a gas station?

This guy, from here.

"The refueling station where people can go to get a fillup of some high octane, high performance stuff for their engines so that they can stay on the highway. Or they can stop, use the restrooms, flush out all the metabolized badness, and sit down and have a cup of coffee with fellow sojourners."


Joe said...

I like it. In today's world, we need as many "gas stations" (like the one described) as we can have and for those who pride themselves on being a "Biblically grounded Episcopal Church", this is a good image for them to have of themselves.

Thanks, Father Tim.

Joe (Cotton Country Anglican)<><

Elder said...

Let me put it this way - is a gas pump integral to community?

If it is, would the community in question use the gas pump at 2am, when the filling station is closed?

If it is not, what does the gas pump offer the community that the community cannot give itself?

David Handy+ said...

The gas station analogy reminds me of a memorable comment made by veteran, evangelical American church historian George Marsden back in the late 1970s or early 1980s. When asked by a Newsweek reporter why he thought the "mainline" denominations were all tanking, he made something like the following observation.

"Brand name loyalty has disappeared. People have discovered that churches are like gas stations. The labels don't matter; all that counts is the price and the octane or service levels you want to choose from."

And then Marsden dropped his devastating bombshell:
"And the mainline churches aren't even selling high octane religion anymore."

Ouch, that hurts. But it's so true.

TLF+ said...

Well, I am blessed that none of you escalated beyond service and octane metaphors and said anything about TEC being corny like ethanol.

Elder - I like the questions you pose. I think so many of our mainline folks are stuck trying to give the community the stuff it can generate quite well without the church.