Skip to comments.A Layperson's View [ACN Meeting + "What A Layperson Can Do: A Baker's Dozen"]
Posted on 04/09/2005 10:10:36 AM PDT by sionnsar
I was privileged this past weekend to join over 1600 people gathered from all around the country at the AAC/ACN conference "From Surviving to Thriving: Anglicans in the 21st Century". This was a great time of encouragement and enthusiasm that uplifted our spirits and gave us direction. It was exciting to be with Christians of like mind and mission who care about the Church and want to do everything possible to save it.
We heard the Most Rev. Gregory Venables, Archbishop of the Southern Cone, The Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh and Moderator of the ACN, the Rev. Kendall Harmon of South Carolina and others tell us, the laity, that the job of saving the Church in North America is ours. We learned that the Primates of the Anglican Communion, regardless of the spin and lies we are hearing to the contrary, are solidly for and with us in this fight to save our Church from the purveyors of sin and death. We learned that only we can start new churches, cut off the life blood of money to those who would continue the status quo and jeopardize the salvation of millions of people, have the freedom to go after the lies that are being told and to tell the truth everywhere, across parish, diocesan and even provincial lines.
We learned that there is serious discussion about legislation being formulated by the House of Bishops and expected to pass at GC2006 to make it possible to depose the laity in the same way that clergy can be deposed. If that happens we can be thrown out of our Church!
We learned that more clergy, in six parishes in Connecticut, God-fearing and faithful people, have received letters from their bishop leading to deposition. This is in addition to dozens of other fine clergy who have been deposed or are under threat, people who have families to support but who have had the courage to stand for truth.
Insult after insult is being heaped upon the Body of Christ by ECUSA. It is only the laity who now can change the outcome of thirty years of turmoil that heresy, lies and the support of sin has brought. It is time to forget property and trust funds and think only of the price Jesus paid for our salvation. It is time to think only of the redemption of Christ and not family tradition. It is time to take a stand in the way that now only the laity can for the authority of scripture. The clergy are exhausted but we, the laity, have the resources to make change. After all, it is our money, our time and effort that, with God's direction and provision, has built the Church. The clergy have been our leaders and models but now we need to wear those hats as well.
A traditional saying in the Church has been that " the lay people have only two ways to vote: with their feet or with their pocketbooks". Don't leave! You are needed. We do need to use our "feet" however. As one of the speakers said, we need to "step on the air hose" that gives substance and oxygen to the heretics. Whenever people have re-directed their pledges those parishes and dioceses led by the purveyors of sin and lies and who do not support the good news of Christ have suffered the consequences. Many more of us need to make it known that our resources cannot be used to preach a false gospel and worship a false god. It is no longer business as usual.
One of my hobbies is to search for and put together my family history. Much to the enormous surprise of current generations I found that our ancestors came from England in 1632 to Massachusetts and then to Connecticut. One went on to sign the Declaration of Independence, others to fight in the Revolution and to help build a new nation for the freedoms we now enjoy; freedom of religion and freedom of speech among the others. Too many of our bishops are now working to take those freedoms from us in the Church, the very things our Church was in the forefront of creating in the early history of our country. They are working hard to create canons that will keep us from speaking out in opposition to their efforts to create a new gospel that is not good news. The House of Bishops is working to make our Church one where all authority rests with them, they are not accountable to anyone, and can remove anyone who opposes them. We will be told what to believe and not allowed to dissent. In the tradition of my family, and the spiritual and political ancestors of all of us, I OBJECT!
You ask, "What can we do?" Sarah Hey, a lay person from South Carolina, has written "A Baker's Dozen" a list of thirteen things the laity can do. We no longer have the luxury of waiting for others to tell us what to do or do it for us. We must take the leadership along with our courageous clergy and make the necessary changes in order to bring the Church back to truth. As much as we may hate the idea of being involved in politics we must fight fire with fire, not only for ourselves but also for our children, grandchildren and all generations to come.
This is what you can do: (from the outline of Sarah Hey's Presentation at the conference April 1 & 2.) WHAT A LAYPERSON CAN DO: A BAKER'S DOZEN
by Sarah Hey
"But who should begin? Who should break this vicious circle? Responsibility cannot be preached but only borne, and the only possible place to begin is with oneself." Vaclav Havel
"The penalty that good men pay for not being interested in politics is to be governed by men worse than themselves." Plato (427-347 BC)
1. Repent & Pray.
2. Connect with orthodox people in your parish and establish a way to keep in touch, encourage one another, and inform. Form a parish network.
3. Nominate orthodox, faithful parish members to your vestry.
4. Work with your parish network to vote for orthodox, faithful parish members to your vestry.
5. Learn and teach in your own parish.
6. Educate others in your parish about the Network and the AAC. Join these allies!
7. Redirect the money with which God has entrusted you to faithful, orthodox proclaimers of the Gospel!
8. Connect with orthodox people in your diocese and help establish a way to keep in touch, encourage one another, and inform. Form a diocesan network.
9. Involve yourself in the diocese: attend, speak up, discern, clarify.
10. Write letters to the editor when articles appear in your local paper.
11. Volunteer to serve as a delegate at Diocesan Convention (or nominate orthodox, faithful parish members as delegates to Diocesan Convention).
12. Ask your Diocesan Convention delegate how he intends to vote on important convention issues - ask him how he voted after the convention.
13. Establish an email network of information and encouragement. Develop an email newsletter.
The AAC has two excellent resources available to anyone for help in clarifying the issues. Call to order copies at 770-414-1515 or write to AAC, 2296 Henderson Mill Rd NE, #406, Atlanta, GA 30345
A very helpful booklet "Re-Alignment and the Episcopal Church: Where are we to go, What are we to think? has been written by the Very Rev.Dr.Paul F. M. Zahl, Dean and President, Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry. For copies write to TESM, 311 Eleventh Street,Ambridge, PA 15003.
WHAT A LAYPERSON CAN DO: A BAKER'S DOZEN
Bookmarking this for my own parish.
Here's your answer?
Got it. Thanks.
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