Thursday, May 14, 2015

Discipleship, Resurrection & A Memorial to the Church

We have been working on our discipleship project at St. Peter's Church since January. It seems that as we approach General Convention this summer, we are being called with others throughout the Episcopal Church to make this journey.

For immediate release:

Group calls for The Episcopal Church “to act with boldness to proclaim the gospel” 

A group of General Convention deputies, bishops, and others have released A Memorial to the Church, calling for The Episcopal Church to “act with boldness to proclaim the gospel.” One member of the group, the Rev. Adam Trambley, deputy from Northwestern Pennsylvania said, “We hope this letter to the church will prompt significant action both at General Convention and among all Episcopalians.”

Inspired by the conversation begun by the Task Force to Reimagine the Episcopal Church, the memorial calls for the church “to recommit itself to the spiritual disciplines at the core of our common life, to go into our neighborhoods boldly with church planters and church revitalizers, and to restructure our church for the mission God is laying before us today.” General Convention typically considers resolutions, but The Episcopal Church’s canons and rules of order also provide for memorials, which are written in the form of letters to the church. The Muhlenberg Memorial of 1853 is perhaps the most famous of the the memorials, and while its immediate effect was slight, it changed the conversation inside the church in a way that later led to liturgical change and other shifts to meet the needs of that time. The hope is that this memorial will lead to change within our church to promote evangelism and discipleship.

The Rev. Susan Brown Snook, deputy from Arizona, said, “In addition to the memorial, our group is offering several resolutions to support the call to discipleship and transformation.” She added that signers to the memorial do not necessarily support any or all of the nine resolutions. The package of resolutions includes action — Encouraging a significant commitment to church planting —
Promoting revitalization of existing congregations — Amending the Constitution & Canons to permit more structural flexibility — Clarifying roles of churchwide officers — Creating a task force to look at episcopal elections — Eliminating the provincial structure within The Episcopal Church

The text of the memorial and all nine resolutions, along with explanatory material, is available at Those who wish to add their names as signatories should email and include their full name and whether they are a bishop, deputy, alternate deputy, or other. Those who endorse the memorial may not necessarily agree with the nine resolutions proposed by the drafting committee.

These materials were written by a drafting committee consisting of Trambley and Brown Snook, along with the Rev. Tom Ferguson; the Rev. Canon Scott Gunn, deputy from Southern Ohio; the Rev. Canon Frank Logue, deputy from Georgia; Mr. Brendan O’Sullivan-Hale, deputy from Indianapolis; and the Rev. Steve Pankey, deputy from Central Gulf Coast.

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