Monday, March 18, 2013

Reimagining the Episcopal Church

Although many things came out of last summer's General Convention, two stand out.  The first was the unanimous (!) commissioning of a task force to look at the overall structure of the Episcopal Church and recommend changes to the 2015 General Convention.  The second was the recognition of an Acts 8 Moment, with two gatherings during the convention to dream about where the Holy Spirit is leading the church.  Both are of those initiatives are moving forward.
The special task force has met and chosen a name, Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church (TREC).   While still in the early stages of their mandate, they have organized and have set up a website, a facebook page and a twitter feed to provides updates on their work and receive comments. 

Meanwhile, a leadership team of about fifteen clergy and lay folks have kept the Acts 8 energy alive since General Convention.  A number of places, including Maine and Indianapolis, have held Acts 8 sessions during their Diocesan Conventions.  Various ministry resources, creative blogposts, and ecclesial commentary can be found on the Acts 8 website and facebook page. Perhaps most exciting, Acts 8 is about to hold its first mission gathering.

This gathering, themed Re-creating a Missionary Church, is an opportunity for interested people to come together for three days of prayer and discernment to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the renewal of the Episcopal Church.  This mission conference is open to clergy and laypeople, to those who have been to other Acts 8 events and to those who haven't.  Looking at the successful mission societies of the past while thinking about modern communication techniques, we want to discover the particular call of this vibrant group of people for the revitalization of our church. 

The mission conference is April 22-24 at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale, Arizona.  In addition to prayer, discernment sessions and community building, workshops will include topics such as historical overviews, missionary prayer, planting new churches and reinvigorating existing communities.  For registration and more information, go to the Acts 8 Website or the registration page at Eventbrite.  Look forward to seeing you there.

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