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November 20, 2019 at 1:41 pm #3723officeKeymaster
Noticings…November 20, 2019
I want to say, “Figures lie and liars figure,” and, “Rumours of my death are highly exaggerated,” but I’m not sure I totally believe me. And yet, in my gut I know that these statistics are completely wrong, even as I know they are not. Well, maybe the statistics aren’t wrong, but the conclusions some are drawing are wrong? Or maybe it’s just a simple matter of realizing that this is what’s likely to happen if we just stay the course? So perhaps the big message here is to change course!
I realize you have no clue yet what statistics I’m referring to. You won’t like them! Our kindred in Christ in the Canadian Anglican church received a report last week that has sent shock waves through not only their denomination but ours too, because in many ways we’re them. Here’s what their data collection and analysis yielded: “Projections from our data indicate that there will be no members, attenders or givers in the Anglican Church of Canada by approximately 2040.” That is an utterly disheartening statement! It says that based on the trajectory of attendance, membership, demographics, givings, baptisms, and funerals that Anglicanism in Canada will be done in 20 years. Yikes! And knowing we’re so similar in so many ways that means we may not be far behind them. Double Yikes!!
It’s natural to want to revert to finger pointing and the blame game, but that’s not going to change anything. We could deny the stats or just ignore them because they’re unpleasant, but that’s not going to change anything either. So. Upon receiving such upsetting and sobering news, how shall we respond? If you heard my sermon last Sunday (you can read it on our website!) you’ll remember that when faced with challenges and threats to their existence Jesus said that it was actually a good thing because it gave his disciples an opportunity to testify. WE are his disciples. WE have an existential threat to our existence before us. How shall we respond?
Our usual practice is to look around for a magic wand program, or some expert with a technical or structural fix that if we ‘just follow these 10 steps’ we’ll solve our problems. Just as long as we don’t actually have to change anything, of course. Triple Yikes!!!
No, our response is going to necessitate adaptation and transformation. It won’t come from on high. It must emerge from the grass roots. And it’s going to require us to leap out of our comfort zones and engage people in conversations about how our faith is enriching our lives, stirring our hearts, and transforming the way we live in the world. Conversations about how loving God, loving people, and loving one another actually makes our lives better. Conversations that you and I are going to have to initiate. It’s that simple. It’s that hard. And now it’s that urgent.
I have no doubt that the statistics are correct. And I have every confidence that we’re capable of proving them wrong. The way forward is pretty clear, if we can find the inspiration and courage to walk it. Otherwise, last one out please turn off the lights.
The Universal Christ ~ Wed. Nov. 27th @ 7 PMWhile the Cosmic or Universal Christ may be a new idea for many contemporary Christians, Rev. Richard Rohr insists it is ancient, part of the perennial tradition, which teaches that all wisdom and knowledge in world religions and philosophies are rooted in the same universal source.
This program will use a video of Fr. Rohr presenting some of the material from his book as a basis of group discussion.
Songs For Sunday NightHere’s a way to make your Sunday Night Worship experience even better! Here’s a link to the songs we’ll be singing this week. Now you can listen to the songs before you come and enter into worship more fully! And if you can’t make it Sunday you can just click and listen for your own worship time. Sunday Nights at 7:15pm. (Bring a friend!)Shalom,
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