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My Dinner With Chuckie [unbelievable: ECUSA Diocese of PA]
Midwest Conservative Journal ^ | 12/17/2005 | Christopher Johnson

Posted on 12/18/2005 2:18:20 PM PST by sionnsar

[All, I know a few on the Traditional Anglican Ping List usually skip over Christopher Johnson's commentaries. However, in this case I would suggest a read. There are three items in this piece, the first and particularly the last of which are, IMHO, worth the read. (The middle is his "aptitude test.") --sionnsar]

Are you a Young PersonTM?  Have you ever thought about going into the ministry?  If you are and you have and you're anywhere around Philadelphia this Wednesday, swing by Episcopal Bishop Charles Bennison's crib:

Bishop Charles Bennison of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania will host a dinner at his Philadelphia home for youths interested in a life in ministry.

The dinner, from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, is open to young people in their later high school or early college years.

Free grub?  Sounds good.  What are they going to talk about?

Bennison and other Episcopal priests will discuss their calling, the highs and lows of ministerial life, and the process of becoming a priest, and will answer questions.

And now for the punchline.

The dinner is open to all faiths.

I suppose Chuckie would be a big help if you want to become a rabbi, an imam or some kind of shaman.  Shaperson.  Whatever.  Anyway, if these Young PersonsTM want to become Episcopal priests, I came up with an Episcopal aptitude test over a year ago.  Chuckie?  If you're reading this, and I know you are, the following questions are on the house and should be discussed:

(1) Which is the most important book for an Episcopal priest, the Bible or the Book of Common Prayer?

(A) Obviously the Bible because it is the Word of the Living God

(B) The Book of Common Prayer because it embodies Anglican faith and practice

(C) The what or the Book of Common Prayer now?

(2) Anglicanism’s so-called "three-cornered stool" consists of:

(A) Scripture, traditition and reason

(B) Port, sherry and Madeira

(C) Pledges, endowments and foundation investments

(3) Gene Robinson’s confirmation as a bishop was:

(A) The work of the Holy Spirit

(B) The work of a different spirit entirely

(C) An occasion to practice the ministry of reconcilation

(4) John Shelby Spong is:

(A) A heretic and a non-Christian who should have been excommunicated decades ago.

(B) One of the most important Christian thinkers in the world today

(C) Not my cup of tea but certainly a thought-provoking writer, I must say

(5) What one word best describes Jesus Christ’s mission in the world?

(A) Atonement

(B) Reconciliation

(C) Context

(6) What should be the Episcopal policy on same-sex marriages?

(A) Same-sex marriages should never ever take place in an Episcopal church.

(B) As a matter of inclusion and simple justice, same-sex marriages should begin as soon as accepted rites are written.

(C) I don’t understand the question since these aren’t going to be marriages at all but blessings. I mean, we’re not going to call this Holy Matrimony so what’s the big deal?

(7) After services one Sunday, a parishioner stops you during coffee and tells you rather heatedly that he thinks that your support for Gene Robinson and same-sex marriages is a serious violation of the Word of God. He uses the word "apostasy" once. You should:

(A) Gently but firmly remind him that you have a theological education and he doesn’t. Suggest with a smile that maybe he shouldn’t try this at home.

(B) Tell him that faithful Christians differ on these issues, you’ll think and pray about these issues some more and that you hope he will do the same.

(C) Take him to lunch and tell him that he misinterpreted your sermon and that you don’t really support Gene Robinson and same-sex marriage at all. Blame the bishop.

The answers are back at the original post.  Chuckie's been busy lately.  He recently got into interior design.  Seems there was this parish, St. Dunstan's, that needed a little help:

With several traditional Episcopalian churches in the area, the St. Dunstan’s staff realized it was time to strive for uniqueness.

"We needed to find our own niche, do something different," Kime allowed.

Preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ?  What are you, a fundie or something?

The suggestion for a heavenly makeover initially came directly from the top. Charles Bennison, Bishop of the Episcopal Dioceses, asked Kime if the church was willing to embrace a few changes that might attract a fresh flock of churchgoers, while still appealing to the existing membership.

To help loosen things up theologically and cosmetically, St. Dunstan’s turned to Anglican clergyman Richard Giles, Dean of Philadelphia Cathedral.

In "Re-pitching The Tent" and other books, Giles candidly wrote about making liturgy more relevant, and a "ruthless reassessment of every detail" concerning classical church architecture.

In other words, if it's old, it sucks?  Yeah, pretty much.

"People did not worship in buildings originally, they were outside," Kime noted. "The building shouldn’t matter at all. Dean Richard Giles’ (attitude) is ’What what can we do to make the church more interesting so that outsiders will want to come and worship here?’"

Getting rid of any suggestion of the sacred is a good start.

The first order of business was turning those pews around. Then the priest decided to come down from "the pedestal" to sit with the worshippers.

"He wants to be a member of the congregation now. He doesn’t want to be above everyone," said Kime. "So we’ve taken out the pulpit and the lecturn."

And now for the punchline.

As is the case with many progressive Protestant and non-denominational churches, the St. Dunstan’s service is now somewhat less about worshipping God than it is re-inventing spirituality in terms of contemporary culture’s needs.

"The St. Dunstan’s service is now somewhat less about worshipping God than it is re-inventing spirituality in terms of contemporary culture’s needs."  Gotcha.  That sentence should be carved on ECUSA's tombstone.  Because it explains better than just about anything I've ever read why the Episcopal Church is dying and needs to die.  There's no I in Jesus, Chuckie. 

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant

1 posted on 12/18/2005 2:18:20 PM PST by sionnsar
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To: ahadams2; AnalogReigns; Uriah_lost; Condor 63; Fractal Trader; Zero Sum; anselmcantuar; Agrarian; ..
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Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

2 posted on 12/18/2005 2:18:55 PM PST by sionnsar (†† || To Libs: You are failing to celebrate MY diversity! || Iran Azadi)
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