Category Archives: Tracts for These Times

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#TractSwarm Seven: Priestly Formation – Insights from the Trenches

At the recent SCP Annual Conference in Atlanta, we engaged in deep theological reflection on various facets of priestly formation. This discussion included the content and structure of seminary education, new models for academic preparation, and the spiritual formation of priests in habits of holiness.

To continue the momentum of the conference, we are inviting current seminarians and recent graduates to offer their personal insights on the needs, challenges, and opportunities on any aspect of priestly formation. For those who attended the Atlanta conference, we would also greatly value your feedback on your experience of the conference as a seminarian or newly ordained clergy.  More seasoned clergy are also welcome to submit their blog postings reflecting on our conference theme too,

  1. Post the submission you wish to share on your own blog with the hashtag #TractSwarm
  2. Include the TractSwarm logo code below to mark your essay as a part of this project. You can simply cut and paste the following code into the end of your post:

<a href=”http://www.thescp.org/tracts/” target=”_blank”><img border=”0″ src=”http://www.thescp.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/tractswarm.jpg” width=”100%” /></a>

After you are done posting your essay, then e-mail a link to our Communications Director, Mtr. Anjel Scarborough. As people write posts, she will list them below…

Swarm on!

Mtr. Anjel Scarborough

Posts:

#TractSwarm Six: Preaching the Context

We are living in unsettled and disturbing times marked by unrest, violence, and calls for justice for the marginalized. As clergy, we have an obligation to be a voice for Christian justice, peace and mercy. In a world where moral conscience is now largely left to individuals, how does our preaching address these issues?

Our SCP members have been preaching about justice within the context of Catholic spiritual and moral teaching. We invite our members to share recent sermons in this #TractSwarm series on Preaching the Context.

Post sermons you wish to share on your own blog with the hashtag #TractSwarm—and be sure to use the TractSwarm logo below to mark your essay as a part of this project. You can simply cut and paste the following code into the end of your post:

<a href=”http://www.thescp.org/tracts/” target=”_blank”><img border=”0″ src=”http://www.thescp.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/tractswarm.jpg” width=”100%” /></a>

After you are done posting your essay, then e-mail a link to our Communications Director, Mtr. Anjel Scarborough. As people write posts, she will list them below…

Swarm on!

Mtr. Anjel Scarborough

Posts:

Mtr. Lizette Larson-Miller – Proper 10C Sempersacramentalis
Fr. Anthony Hutchinson – Proper 7C Ellipticalglory
Fr. Bill Carroll – Proper 10C Emmanuel Shawnee

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#TractSwarm Five: Fasting – a Catholic tradition

LentCloud

We are now between the historical liturgical Sundays of Sexigesima and Quinquagesima and Lent is quickly approaching. Our culture at large is aware that something is happening on Ash Wednesday as they see the faithful emerge from church with ashes imposed on their foreheads; however, beyond that the cultural understanding of Lent often revolves around “giving something up.”

As a young child in the Lutheran Church (pre-merger …  yes I am that old), not much was made of the Lenten practices of “fasting and self-denial” other than having Lenten mite boxes. However, my Roman Catholic cousins ate fish on Fridays and seemed to make more out of this than we did. Only after joining the Episcopal Church did I hear the exhortation on Ash Wednesday which includes the call to observe fasting and self-denial.

For our Fifth #TractSwarm, we are asking for your thoughts on the practices of “fasting and self-denial.” Why is this important to the observance of a holy Lent? What are the purposes of focusing on these practices? How can we practice fasting beyond the obvious ways involving food? What is the relationship between fasting and feasting – particularly surrounding those Sundays “in Lent” but not “of Lent”?

Post your essay to your own blog with the hashtag #TractSwarm—and be sure to use the TractSwarm logo below to mark your essay as a part of this project. You can simply cut and paste the following code into the end of your post:

<a href=”http://www.thescp.org/tracts/” target=”_blank”><img border=”0″ src=”http://www.thescp.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/tractswarm.jpg” width=”100%” /></a>

After you are done posting your essay, then e-mail a link to our Communications Director, Mtr. Anjel Scarborough. As people write posts, she will list them below…

Swarm on!

Mtr. Anjel Scarborough


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Posts on #TractSwarm Five: Fasting – a Catholic tradition
Posted in the order they were written.

Fr. Ethan Jewett – The Language of Fasting

#TractSwarm Four: The Heart of 21st Century Anglican Catholicity

“The real development of theology is . . . the process in which the Church, standing firm in her old truths, enters into the apprehension of the new social and intellectual movements of each age . . . and is able to assimilate all new material, to welcome and give its place to all new knowledge, to throw herself into the sanctification of each new social order, bringing forth out of her treasures things new and old, and showing again and again her power of witnessing under changed conditions to the catholic capacity of her faith and life.” ~ Lux Mundi: A series of Studies in the Religion of the Incarnation (Charles Gore, ed.), Preface to the 1st Edition, 1889.

anglo_catholic_liturgy_2The Society Facebook Page regularly gets messages and posts from people asking if we are “real priests” and, if so, if we can answer a question about something. Several of our members get questions regularly, when people see the name of our Society, about whether they are some kind of ecumenical group for Roman Catholics and Anglicans. We seem to go back and forth in Chapter meetings and other gatherings of the Society, debating the finer points of a well-made cassock and then debating whether we should be debating about wearing cassocks! Many members are clear that they are not interested in a “gin and lace” group… while, at the same time, a good number of our members enjoy good gin and well-made lace.

What does it mean to say we are Catholic Anglicans? When we say that one of the twin aims of the Society is Catholic Evangelism… what does that actually mean? Does it mean being evangelistic within our church for the Catholic tradition? Does it mean using the Catholic tradition as the source of our evangelistic efforts outside of the church?

Most importantly, what is at the heart of catholicity for the 21st century Anglican?

This is the Theme for our 7th Annual Conference, October 7-10, 2015, in Denver. What is at the heart of Catholicity?

For our Fourth #TractSwarm, we are asking for your thoughts on this question. What is at the heart of the theology and practice of Catholic Anglicans today? What is the most important message of the Catholic tradition of our church to the broader body? What, for you, is at the core of why you identify as a Catholic?

Post your essay to your own blog with the hashtag #TractSwarm—and be sure to use the TractSwarm logo below to mark your essay as a part of this project. You can simply cut and paste the following code into the end of your post:

<a href=”http://www.thescp.org/tracts/” target=”_blank”><img border=”0″ src=”http://www.thescp.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/tractswarm.jpg” width=”100%” /></a>

After you are done posting your essay, then e-mail a link to our Communications Director, Fr. Jared Cramer. As people write posts, he will list them below…

Swarm on!


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Posts on #TractSwarm Four: The Heart of 21st Century Anglican Catholicity
Posted in the order they were written.

#TractSwarm Three: Prayer Book Revision

It is a most invaluable part of that blessed “liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free,” that in his worship different forms and usages may without offence be allowed, provided the substance of the Faith be kept entire; and that, in every Church, what cannot be clearly determined to belong to Doctrine must be referred to Discipline; and therefore, by common consent and authority, may be altered, abridged, enlarged, amended, or otherwise disposed of, as may seem most convenient for the edification of the people,” according to the various exigency of times and occasions.” ~ Preface to the BCP, page 9

Title Page of the 1662 BCP

Title Page of the 1662 BCP

In many ways, the 1979 Book of Common Prayer was a realization of many of the aims of the Catholic movement in the Anglican Communion. Communion was once more located as the central act of worship on Sundays and other Major Feasts. The office was restored and expanded. New pastoral rites were added along with a much fuller traditional observance of Holy Week. And, as the years have gone one, chasubles, candles, and many of the components of Anglo-Catholic worship are now common and uncontroversial.

At the same time, those who lived through the transition to the 1979 BCP remember how controversial it was. It was a difficult time to be a priest—exciting, perhaps—but hard.

As the Episcopal Church prepares for her 78th General Convention, one of the questions being considered is whether or not it is time for a further revision to the prayer book. Everything from gender-inclusive language to a new BCP rite for marriage has been suggested.

What is needed? Does the current Book of Common Prayer remain sufficient for our time? Is there a need for a revision, whether small or large? Or, like in some other parts of the Communion, are the days of one shared book of worship slipping away with supplemental liturgies taking the place? There have been times where the Anglo-Catholic movement has been seen as the home of much inattention to the rubrics and rules of the BCP—is that still the case?

What does Common Prayer need to look like in the Episcopal Church today—and what should General Convention be focusing on to help further that end?

For our third #TractSwarm, we are asking our members to write blog posts about their own thoughts as priests, deacons, bishops, religious, or seminarians on these questions. What do we, as the church in the 21st century believe should happen with the 1979 Book of Common Prayer?

We’d particularly invite our Canadian members to chime in—your experience of a different book can shed some light on these questions for us in the United States.

Post your essay to your own blog with the hashtag #TractSwarm—and be sure to use the TractSwarm logo below to mark your essay as a part of this project. You can simply cut and paste the following code into the end of your post:

<a href=”http://www.thescp.org/tracts/” target=”_blank”><img border=”0″ src=”http://www.thescp.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/tractswarm.jpg” width=”100%” /></a>

After you are done posting your essay, then e-mail a link to our Communications Director, Fr. Jared Cramer. As people write posts, he will list them below…

Swarm on!


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Posts on #TractSwarm Three: Prayer Book Revision
Posted in the order they were written.

#TractSwarm Two: Faith in Christ’s Resurrection

resurrection-icon“I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord… on the third day he rose again.”

Each day in the public prayer of the church, we confess belief in the resurrection through the Apostles’ Creed. Each Sunday and other major feast we confess as well that we believe that “On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures.”

However, what exactly does it mean to believe in the resurrection? Must all Christians believe in the literal bodily resurrection of Christ? If so, why? If not, how do we understand these creeds?

And, perhaps most importantly, how does our belief in Christ’s resurrection change the shape of our lives, how does it affect the way we think and act and worship as Christians?

For our second #TractSwarm, we are asking our members to write blog posts about their own thoughts as priests, deacons, bishops, religious, or seminarians on these questions. What do we, as the church in the 21st century believe we are celebrating in the Great Fifty Days?

Post your essay to your own blog with the hashtag #TractSwarm—and be sure to use the TractSwarm logo below to mark your essay as a part of this project. You can simply cut and paste the following code into the end of your post:

<a href=”http://www.thescp.org/tracts/” target=”_blank”><img border=”0″ src=”http://www.thescp.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/tractswarm.jpg” width=”100%” /></a>

After you are done posting your essay, then e-mail a link to our Communications Director, Fr. Jared Cramer. As people write posts, he will list them below…

Swarm on!


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Posts on #TractSwarm Two: Faith in Christ’s Resurrection
Posted in the order they were written.

#TractSwarm One: The Sacrament of Reconciliation

the-sacrament-of-reconciliation“All may. Some should. None must.” This aphorism regarding the practice of private confession is one of the most potent and popular in the Episcopal Church. But does it actually represent what we believe as Episcopalians regarding the Sacrament of Reconciliation?

During Lent, many churches hear the Exhortation, including the call to avail yourself of “a discreet and understanding priest” when you are particularly burdened. It urges the faithful to careful preparation for the reception of Holy Eucharist.

For our first #TractSwarm, we are asking our members to write blog posts about their experience of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Is it a part of your life? Should it be a part of the life of every Episcopalian? Is the aphorism above accurate… or is it time to revisit the way we talk about this Sacrament?

Post your essay to your own blog with the hashtag #TractSwarm—and be sure to use the TractSwarm logo below to mark your essay as a part of this project. You can simply cut and paste the following code into the end of your post:

<a href=”http://www.thescp.org/tracts/” target=”_blank”><img border=”0″ src=”http://www.thescp.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/tractswarm.jpg” width=”100%” /></a>

After you are done posting your essay, then e-mail a link to our Communications Director, Fr. Jared Cramer. As people write posts, he will list them below…

Swarm on!


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Posts on #TractSwarm One: The Sacrament of Reconciliation
Posted in the order they were written.

Advent 2 & Ferguson

The Rt. Rev. C. Christopher Epting, Assisting Bishop of Chicago

The Rt. Rev. C. Christopher Epting, Assisting Bishop of Chicago

Advent 2, Trinity Cathedral, Davenport Iowa

On this Second Sunday of Advent, our Presiding Bishop has asked us to remember the victims of the Ebola virus, especially in West Africa, and to pray for our church’s efforts to combat this dread disease. I had even prepared something on that… but now feel that I cannot avoid addressing a disease affecting us even closer to home.

I speak of the deepening racial divide in this country spotlighted by recent Grand Jury decisions in Missouri and New York not to bring indictments against certain police officers involved in the deaths of two Black men.

Some of us, deeply mindful of the difficult and dangerous job law enforcement officers have, and of the fact that they put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe, are content with the fact that provisions are made in the law to give the police permission to use deadly force, even the responsibility to use deadly force though tragedies sometimes occur in the application of such measures…such as the killing of Tamir Rice, the 12 year old boy in Cleveland who displayed a realistic-looking toy gun.

Some of us, deeply conscious of the sad legacy of slavery and segregation in this country, the effects of which are still with us, are saddened that such incidents remind especially African Americans of the bad old days of lynching and of the more recent heavy handed policing in the years leading up to and including the civil rights demonstrations we all remember so well.

All of us, it seems to me, must admit that there remains a huge chasm between the majority and minority communities in this country which, for all the progress we have made, does not seem to be narrowing or overcome but simply bubbling right below the surface just waiting for an emotionally charged act to occur in order to erupt once again.

From the Rodney King affair in the early 1990s to the O. J. Simpson trial to the more recent deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner, study after study reveal the fact that White and Black Americans view these things in almost completely opposite ways, not so much because of the “facts on the ground” (which in most cases will always be disputed) but because of personal experiences each of us has had and the very different histories we have lived out, even though we are citizens of the same great country.

I wish I had solutions to suggest for healing this great divide. I do not. But as one who grew up in the deep South and drank in the legacies of slavery and segregation with my mother’s milk, I know that the effects of these things are far from over and that we will never be the “one nation under God” we claim to be until they are. I know that “quick fixes” like body cameras on police officers will not solve the problem. And my Faith tells me that only repentance and forgiveness, the building of personal relationships and the hard work of reconciliation will begin the process of healing that we so desperately need.

Hmmm…repentance and forgiveness…relationships and reconciliation. Those sound like Advent themes to me.

I wonder if you would be willing to join me in a couple of minutes of silent reflection about what you could do, in these dark days, to try and become part of the solution instead of part of the problem in our racially divided land. Are there things you need to repent of? Someone you need to forgive (even the stranger…or an “enemy”)?

Is there some way you can build a relationship with someone who is very different (maybe even of a different color) than you? What would reconciliation look like… in your family…in your neighborhood…in THIS neighborhood…and in our country? Let’s think about these things together in silence for a little bit…

Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.

Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid…
In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.

The glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together…

Let us pray,
Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

The Right Rev. C. Christopher Epting is Assisting Bishop in the Diocese of Chicago. Though not a member of the Society, he has affinities for much that we hold dear and submitted this post in the hope of saying something worthwhile in this troubled time.

On the way of indirect achievement

Dcn. John Hazlet

As a former Benedictine monk I am probably a little biased, but I believe that we as Anglo-Catholics have a great deal to learn from the vision of Christian life set out in St Benedict’s Rule. No less august a supporter of this Society’s outlook than the Rt Rev’d Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, has commented on the Benedictine flavor (or perhaps more appropriately “flavour”) of the Anglican way.

One of the many things we stand to learn from the Father of Monks and of Europe is the importance of what I’ll call indirect achievement.

The very titles I have used here attest to this point. Benedict of Nursia did not set out to be the “father” of anything. He set out simply to pray. That his life of solitary prayer in a cave at Subiacco should have grown into the founding of monasteries, branched out into the composition of the most enduring of monastic rules, flowered in mystical vision, and borne fruit in the creation of European culture (among so many other things), would all have been regarded by the great Abbot himself as of secondary importance.

The same is true of his daughters and sons, at their best. Between the eigth and the eleventh centuries, Benedictinism was the dominant force in the life of the Western Church and, one could even argue, of the Western World. Monastic communities built great churches (and a Benedictine abbot more or less invented Gothic architecture). They wrote and illustrated beautiful manuscripts of essential importance in the preservation and transmission of texts ranging from the Bible to works of classical literature. They composed exquisite music. They wrote important works of theology. They even became some of the most powerful landowners of their time.

All these achievements, however, would have been regarded by the communities responsible for them as byproducts of their real raison d’etre, which was simply the search for God (as Pope St Gregory the Great so memorably put it), toward which all their work was oriented. The churches were for praying in. The books were for learning to read (the Classics) in order pray (the Divine Office, Mass, lectio divina). The music was, as some scholars of chant would still argue today, not music so much as sung prayer. The theology was written in the service of prayer and as the outpouring of prayer (and thus nearly always in the form of commentaries or homilies rather than systematic treatises). The land and the agriculture it supported were to provide a livelihood for the monastics so that they could sustain the search for God in work and prayer.

I must avoid idealising the monastic achievement. It had its dark side. There were systemic problems (like the second-class status of “lay brothers” and of all women monastics throughout much of history, or the injustices occasioned by all that land ownership). There were also occasional ones (arising and subsiding with the ebb and flow of fervor, decline, and reform). St. Bernard, one of the great monastic mystics, was also a bitter controversialist. But despite the flaws, the achievement was – and is – real. And it was (and remains) essentially indirect.

There is much that our Society hopes to achieve. Dauntingly, perhaps it may sometimes seem overwhelmingly, much.

All the more reason, then, to take up the Benedictine imperative to aim at something other than what we might think of as our concrete goals. To aim, simply, for God. And to allow what we hope to achieve in practical terms to take shape, almost unobserved, on what will seem like the periphery.

What I am talking about here is – unsurprisingly – largely liturgical. The hallowing of time by the Daily Office, the transcendence of time in the Eucharistic meeting of heaven and earth, the inhabiting of time in our personal prayer and in the undertaking of all our work as a quest for God. All this will aim us in the right direction, keep us on course or correct our course as needed. And it will free us to accomplish, within the life of the Holy Trinity, much besides.

***

If these themes interest you, consider perusing the following books:
Jean Leclercq: The Love of Learning and the Desire for God
Ivan Illich: In the Vineyard of the Text
Alexander Schmemann: Introduction to Liturgical Theology

***

The Rev. Dcn. John Hazlet is a parishioner of St. Thomas the Apostle, Hollywood, CA. He was ordained to the transitional diaconate while a (Roman Catholic) monk but has not been in ministry since leaving the monastery. He holds the degrees of BA (philosophy) from Grove City College, PA, and MA (theology) from the University of Oxford. At present, he works as a realtor and has a small shop on Etsy.

Anchor and Visionary: Models for Church Leadership

Fr. Ryan Whitley

Recently I was asked to prepare some remarks for a continuing education conference I attend every year called, “Gathering of Leaders.” One of the very great things about this conference is that while the year’s theme is decided by a governing board, the content of each “Gathering” is user driven. This year, I was asked to prepare remarks for a “Returnee’s Panel,” wherein I and two others who had attended several “Gatherings” would offer our thoughts to first-timers on why we keep coming back. While my talk was given without a manuscript, this is more or less a written adaptation of what I’d said.

I am a firm believer in the idea that most church leaders (lay and ordained) can be divided into two categories: anchors and visionaries. Anchors are those leaders who root us to our past; keep us firmly grounded in our sacred traditions; remind us of our history; call us to attend to our scriptures with focused learning; celebrate our sacraments with a grounded understanding of their significance and a high theology of their continued efficaciousness in our lives. Because they are leaders, the very best of our ecclesiastical anchors do all of this with a strong sense of purpose rather than meaningless fussiness; with a love for the historical that never strays to idolatry; with a clear grasp on the narrative arc and importance of scripture while not forgetting that God is even bigger than we can write Him; and with a reverence for our sacramental rituals that is adoring more than it is adorned.

However, if the church were comprised solely of anchors, then we would fail in the mission Christ set before us. For the metaphor would hold true and the ship of Christianity would be stuck in the mud and be able to go nowhere. This is why we need our visionaries.

Visionaries are those leaders who dream us into the possibilities of the future; who keep us moving when we would much rather remain comfortable and secure; who challenge us to live into and beyond the accomplishments of our holy predecessors; who ask the provocative questions that call us to think about our theology in a quickly and ever-changing world in which circumstance and technology can seem to be leaving the relevance of scripture behind; who take our sacraments and rituals routinely beyond the walls of our churches of stone and wood with a strong sense of mission informed by the shrinking nature of our world geography. Because they are leaders, the very best of our ecclesiastical visionaries do all this with a great hope of what could be while appreciating the gifts already present; with a restlessness for mission rather than a contentedness for what already is; possessed of a zeal inspired by the saints while not being frozen by intimidation of them; with a holy curiosity for how scientific advancement and progress in human understanding of our universe can inform and be informed by theology and scripture; with a divine desire to see the beauty and mystery of our traditions and liturgies shared in as many venues and ways as possible.

However, if the church were comprised solely of visionaries, then we would drift away on the winds of fads and with the fickle vagrancies of the times. The great ship of Christianity would be cast adrift from the mud with purpose but without a plan to sustain it, with hope but without root to nourish it. No, it seems clear to me that the church needs both kinds of leaders if we are to carry the mission of Jesus Christ into this great 21st century and beyond. More than that, the church needs both kinds of leaders to work together, and not against each other.

This is why, each year, I make a great effort to attend the same two conferences for continuing education. They represent the very best in leadership training that I have found. One, a society of “anchors,” if you will. The other, a gathering of “visionaries.”

In my few years attending the annual conference of the Society of Catholic Priests, and through the benefits of membership in its fellowship, I have learned more about the great traditions of our church than in any book or seminary class. I have come to understand that sometimes the faithful few in my pews are more important for me to focus on that the great masses of humanity other churches have. I have benefitted tremendously, both personally and professionally, from this band of clergy dedicated to worshipping God in the full beauty of holiness and to carrying the light of Christ to the darkest places of both our cities and rural areas, where the lowest and the forgotten of our great land live and move and have their being.   I have learned the meanings of our ancient rituals and their continued importance today in a world just as hurting as it was in times gone by, if in different ways. Most importantly, I have gained an increased sense of the significance of sign and symbol, always pointing beyond to something greater. Always pointing to Jesus Christ.

Even though I personally identify more with this group of “anchors,” each year I also attend the “Gathering of Leaders,” a conference designed for the visionaries of the church, and unabashedly about numerical growth. At these gatherings and through the benefits of membership in its fellowship, I have learned so many best practices for adaptive leadership from those who are practicing them and seeing the results. My congregation and, dare I say, those whom we serve in our surrounding community have benefitted from the imaginative and prophetic ideas for mission and outreach that have been bandied about at the famous “networking sessions” of these Gatherings. I have heard what can only be described as examples of the very best of new, “on the ground,” theological thinking, fearlessly engaging a fast paced and increasingly unchurched culture. Most importantly, I have gained an increased sense and born witness to the fruits of the transformational power of grace which we boldly proclaim in Jesus Christ.

We are the body of Christ. We are living out our baptismal vows in this corner of Christ’s Body that we call Episcopalian. But we so often bound gleefully down the rabbit holes of false dichotomies. It is either this way or that way. It can only be progressive or traditional; it can only be liberal or conservative; it can only be building-centric or emergent. The fact is we all have different gifts and we need each other. The progressive brother cannot say to the traditional sister, “I have no need of you.” This is why I delight in both conferences, and why I encourage all of us, lay and ordained, to find some way to participate in the full beauty and joy the wide range of our church represents. Our God is amazing and Christ died to offer all of us the new life of grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love. So let us climb out of the holes we have dug for ourselves and see the dayspring from on high again as if for the first time.

The most transformational words the church can offer are these, “This is Body of Christ. This is the Blood of Christ.” So let us take and eat, take and drink. Let us taste and see. Let us be the Body of Christ and live more fully into this great and holy calling, whether anchor or visionary, nourished by Word and Communion, and strengthened for service in a world which God still loves abundantly.

The Rev. Ryan Whitley serves as Rector of St. George’s Episcopal Church in Aardmore, PA. He is a member of the Holy Cross Chapter of the Society, whose members serve in Pennsylvania.