Church vs. The Church

I’ve had some amazing conversations with people over the last couple of weeks about God, faith and the Church. Many of these conversations have taken place during Join Me activities. I am increasingly of the opinion that I do not have a problem with Church — that is the meeting together of people in Jesus’ name — but I do have issues with the Church, the institution.

I wish the Church didn’t focus so much on itself, on the mechanics and politics of how it will keep itself financed and organised, and instead gave more energy towards how to encourage and resource people in their spiritual journeys, helping them to know themselves better, fulfil their potential and support them in their relationship with God and with one another.

How do we — those already in the Church — help bring this change about? How do we help people’s focus to shift?

Liturgical Colours

I’m preaching on Sunday about the use of liturgical colours in the Scottish Episcopal Church. I’ve produced a calendar showing the colours for next year (2003-04); remember the liturgical year begins on the First Sunday of Advent, which this year is November 30. You may download the calendar, in PDF format.

Liturgical Calendar for SEC, PDF (80 KB)

Remembrance Sunday

Today we remembered those who gave their lives for our country in the two world wars and other conflicts since. In my sermon I spoke about my experience of the wars from the perspective of the families left at home, and reflected on my visit to Poperinge and Ieper in 1998 with Toc-H. It was a moving service.

Remembrance Sunday 2003 sermon PDF (89 KB)

Anglican Communion

I am saddened by the conflict in the Anglican Communion at the moment focussing on the issue of the consecration to Bishop of the Revd Gene Robison, an openly gay priest in the Episcopal Church of the USA (ECUSA). I pray for God’s love to be shown to all his people. I do not understand why men and women should be excluded from God’s kingdom on account of their sexual orientation.

I was challenged at a meeting a couple of months ago that heterosexual Christians need to ‘come out’ in their support for an inclusive church that allows all people to discover their full potential in relationship with God.

Changing Attitude Scotland is campaigning for this within the Scottish Episcopal Church, and contains up-to-the-minute articles on the issue.

Inclusive Church.net is seeking to do the same within the Anglican Communion.

On the other side of the argument TransformSEC is praying and campaigning for “the biblical and spiritual transformation of the Scottish Episcopal Church in accordance with Romans 12:2”. (This is a Yahoo Group.)