Deputies vote to begin process to revise Book of Common Prayer

By Melodie Woerman
Posted Jul 7, 2018

[Episcopal News Service – Austin, Texas] The House of Deputies on July 7 adopted a resolution that would set the stage for the revision of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer.

The outcome of Resolution A068 was decided in a vote by orders, with each diocese casting one ballot for its lay and one ballot for its clergy deputies. To prevail, the resolution needed 56 yes votes in the lay and in the clergy orders.

The House of Deputies passed Resolution A068, to begin a process of prayer book revision, in a vote by orders on July 7. Photo: Melodie Woerman/Episcopal News Service

The results:
* Clergy: 63 yes, 30 no, 17 divided (the deputies were split 50-50)
* Lay: 69 yes, 26 no, 15 divided

The resolution now goes to the House of Bishops for its consideration.

The resolution adopts a process recommended by the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, or SCLM, which from now until 2021 will gather data about how the current 1979 prayer book is being used in congregations across the Episcopal Church, with a focus group meeting in every diocese and a variety of consultations.

The resolution directs that any future revision will “utilize inclusive and expansive language and imagery for humanity and divinity” and will “incorporate and express understanding, appreciation, and care of God’s creation.”

The Rev. Matthew Mead, a New York deputy, offers an amendment during debate on July 7. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

Additional guidance for the process was included in floor amendments, which deputies presented on July 7, after having debated the basic resolution the day before. The amendments direct that elements of prayer book revision be faithful to the historic rites as expressed in the Anglican tradition, while making space for rites that might arise from the working of the Holy Spirit. It also is to take into account the church’s “liturgical, cultural, racial, generational, linguistic, gender, physical ability, and ethnic diversity,” while adhering to the four elements identified by Anglicans as the essentials for Christian unity: scripture, the creeds, the sacraments of baptism and Eucharist, and the historic episcopate.

Because of concerns that have arisen during the convention about the availability of materials for non-English-speaking deputies, the resolution calls for materials generated in the next three years to be available in English, Spanish, French and Haitian Creole – the primary languages spoken by people in the 17 countries of the Episcopal Church.

In the process set out by the SCLM, a revised Book of Common Prayer will be created by 2024, with three years of trial use after that. Final adoption of that revision by two successive General Conventions would result in a new prayer book in 2030.

Full ENS coverage of the 79th meeting of General Convention is available here.

Deputies debated the resolution for an hour on July 6, with speakers alternating between those supporting and those opposing.

The Rev. Jane Johnson, deputy from Fond du Lac, said that since human beings, in all their diversity, are made in the image of God, then the church must move away from an image of God that is white and male. “God’s pronouns are them and their, not he,” she said.

The Rev. James Sorvillo, deputy from Central Florida, said he thought the money planned for the overall revision process, estimated at $8 million over 12 years, could be better spent on providing Spanish language materials for Puerto Ricans now living in his area.

Chicago Deputy Louisa McKellaston said that all human beings are made in God’s image, “but that is not reflected in our Book of Common Prayer.” She said she is concerned that exclusive language in the prayer book is unwelcoming and alienating to both members and seekers.

The Rev. Everett Lees, deputy from Oklahoma, said that while he understands the need for more expansive liturgical language, now is not the time to address it. Noting that Presiding Bishop Michael Curry now is frequently appearing on television, “people are coming to look for us.” He said revision “will draw us from the important work of evangelism.”

— Melodie Woerman is director of communications for the Diocese of Kansas and is a member of the ENS General Convention reporting team.

A previous version of this story reversed the vote totals.


Tags


Comments (132)

  1. Matt Ouellette says:

    I hope the Bishops vote this down. I don’t think now is the time to undergo the divisive process of revising the prayer book when we are still dealing with the aftermath of marriage equality.

    1. Douglas Hutto says:

      I totally agree with you….I am not sure why it seems necessary at this time. The present prayer book is an inclusive tome albeit some of the language is not as neutral. With all the money being put into a revision it seems a waste of time and effort. The Anglican/English version is the same that was original. It has changed with additions to to the original; not by throwing the baby out with the bathwater…seems just no necessary at this time in history.

    2. Jerry Givan says:

      So, in Matthew 6:9, when Jesus said “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,” he was confused? No, he knew exactly Who he was talking about. The gospel should not be watered down for the snowflakes of this day!

      1. Frank Harrison says:

        it is not only the Gospel which is being watered down but also the theology of the Church is being very much changed BECAUSE people FEEL that is the way to go. Nonsense — literally.

  2. Debi Brown says:

    I was never taught that God is white. I love that while scripture describes God with male attributes, it also uses female attributes. I am comfortable with a gender neutral God. I am not comfortable with a plural God. When did the Episcopal church stop being Christian and become the church of what’s happening now? I do not understand what is happening and as a cradle Episcopalian, this makes me sad. Inclusiveness is good but don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

    1. Elaine Chilcote says:

      “God’s pronouns are them and their, not he.” Well, God’s pronoun can be “she,” but “them and their?” I guess they will change the wording of the Nicene Creed too: no more “We believe in one God…” What some of the deputies apparently fail to understand is that the words and rhythms and cadences of the liturgy have deep emotional resonance for many people. I have been saying Our Father for more than 70 years, and I am not so dense that I imagine that God is a white male!

      1. Kathy van Arnum says:

        I suspect they are getting “them” and “their” because the Hebrew word for God that is used in large chunks of the Old Testament is plural. So “them” and “their” is straight out of scripture. I don’t think the intention is to suggest multiple gods but to use language God used about Godself in scripture, which is not all singular. God in scripture is also referred to as having a womb and breasts in the Old Testament hence some argue for occasional use of feminine pronouns. The people supporting this are still monotheistic trinitarians. I personally don’t think we need the “they” language necessarily—for exactly the confusion about it on this thread alone— but wanted to explain why it’s being suggested: as an alternative to the currently all male version without throwing in female pronouns which seems to anger some more.

        1. Frank Harrison says:

          I have no hard evidence for what I am about to say — BUT — I seriously doubt that many members of the Deputies know ancient Hebrew well at all, or even think much about it. On the other hand, I do hypothesize that most people are driven by their beliefs and not their reason. So, if one is a “liberal” stressing “feminism,” then that is why such a person would vote for pronoun changes. As I say, just a hypothesis.

  3. M. J. Wise says:

    I would like to know of any language in the BCP that somehow refers to God as a white person (!). That would be a new one. Could anyone point me to a page number on that?

    I also don’t particularly feel the need to worship with someone who finds praying to “Our Father” is offensive. What that tells me is Jesus’ words aren’t good enough for you. Go join a UU group if you feel that way.

    1. Nan Bartlett says:

      Agree that there is no indication in BCP that God is white. And, as Jesus our Lord and Saviour refers to God as Father, I see no reason to change His gender. His Holy Spirit provides non gender guidance in our daily lives, along with comfort and strength of such magnitude we cannot imagine!

      1. Frank Harrision says:

        In the Christian tradition, God has no color at all for He is not an empirical entity but a spiritual one. Saying that God is white, for example, is like saying that the set of all pairs is blue.

        1. Clifford Grout says:

          In the Jewish tradition, and in sone Christian traditions, God is never portrayed, as no one has ever seen God (John 1:18). We are made in His image, male and female (Genesis 1:27). He has no gender, true. But He has, through the Prophets and through Christ, given us to call Him, well, “Him.” “Father.” Who are we to question God?

  4. Michael Brown says:

    I think we should refrain from revising the BCP until the current edition is no longer referred to as “the new prayer book.”

  5. Terri Hoornstra says:

    As a person who appreciates the poetry of the language in the Bible and the current BCP, I have been appalled at awkward attempts to use “inclusive” langauge (i.e. “God so loved the world that God gave God’s only begotten son. . .”) in an attempt to elimate the use of “Father” and “he, his, him” in reference to God. As someone remarked earlier, if Jesus chose “Father” as the metaphor to convey God in his teaching, why would we want to change that? When I ask this question, I am too often answered with replies that reflect a kind of reverse misogyny. There is no place in today’s church for negativity toward either males or females, or any gender designations. To deliberately change scripture from the masculine images conveyed by Jesus is inarguably and overtly anti-male.

    1. Jerry Givan says:

      Jesus referred to God as his FATHER, is trying to change it so that no one is offended, really man trying to make God in THEIR image.

  6. Andy Burdge says:

    The Christian Religion is ancient and we have traditional prayers and liturgy that have changed over time to evolve with our language. Who are we to change a references to God? The Jews have used the male pronoun Elohim to refer to God for thousands of years. “Our Father who art in Heaven” has been passed down to us over the centuries and now we are special enough to change it? This doesn’t sit well with me.

    1. Michael Smyser IV says:

      Right on! Leave the Book of Common Prayer alone. Add a BCP with new versions etc but no to changes in our Christian Anglican BOCP.

      As to words like Father and the Son! Let’s get real people! Jesus is a male. Don’t deprive the real person of Jesus in human flesh as anything but! Dishonoring the Son is blasphemy in itself. If you want a Mother we have the Blessed Mother Mary. So God is the Father. Stop the pronoun war and let’s work on growing our tradition to the unchurched in America by feeding the poor, assisting with shelter, clothing the naked, loving each other regardless of our human differences …. you know Like Jesus would!
      Let’s not allow ourselves to go down the road of failing liberal groups like Methodists and Calvinists. Look at their numbers in 2017! It’s not by chance. We are the bridge between Protestant and Roman Catholic traditions. As a cradle gay man with a partner of 38 years and a son, let’s focus on our tradition and what Jesus Christ wants us to do.
      Palm Beach

      1. Darryl Grant says:

        Having gone through the inclusive language “battles” over a decade ago, I quite agree that this is a slippery slope for us to fall down the rabbit hole. Neutral and not gender specific language is fine, but so often, we go beyond being inclusive to having an agenda that lies outside the purpose of liturgy.

      2. Walter Cox says:

        Thank you for your comment; why not put proposed changes in the Book of Occasional Services so as to give the new ideas a trial without adding to the confusion by changing the present BCP?

        1. Darryl Grant says:

          Excellent idea!

  7. Nancy Stein Miller says:

    I still prefer the last prayer book. It’s not for us to be exclusive for using it but to teach the differences in language
    At the time it was written! A prayer book should have a close translation but I’m not into “Our Mother who art…”.
    Just try getting a Eucharistic Minister to my Sunrise abode
    In FX, VA in the summer. I returned after a remarriage to
    Be closer than SC to my family. Some on sabbatical,
    Some don’t check e-mails so I finally left a message at The Wash. Cathedral.
    I have a prayer book…kindly send a priest…whatever flavor!

    1. Charles Nelson says:

      Those of us that remember the transition from 1928 to1979 are most likely in the minority. It was a spiritual and a educational
      experience. i till have memories of the green book, the zebra book, and the blue book.The deep examination of our theology and liturgy
      We have other significant issues to consider; examining the
      Eucharistic Prayers, the Nicene Creed, the Lord’s Prayer even though an option is offered in 1979, and of MAJOR
      IMPORTANCE……SILENCE in our worship.

  8. Mark Archer says:

    …rites that might arise from the working of the Holy Spirit.

    Heaven help us!

  9. Frances Sams Hart says:

    I do not think the time is right to revise the BCP or the Hymnal 82 (which given history, would follow). We need to focus on growing our faith by reaching all people in need from all corners of humanity. As a cradle Episcopalian, 1928 alumni, 1940 chorister, and daughter of a priest, I believe now is the time for unity and not division. Prayers for judgement by convention bishops, clergy, and delegates.

    1. David Schreyer says:

      Was reading more comments. It’s a safe bet that the House of Bishops could care less about how a lot of us feel about the issue of revision. As I tried to say before, I’m prepared to leave TEC as I am almost certain the Bishops will approve it. The Church can’t afford to compromise much more. I can understand why the Church has faced court hearings by other parishes for the variety of complex legal issues it’s managed to create. As fare as Bishop Curry goes…he lost my support. Don’t worship the bishop worship God. God started out telling Israel he was their Father. Tough pill for the feminist theologians out there to swallow yet they are flexing their muscles at the expense of the Church’s existence.

      1. Matt Ouellette says:

        I don’t think there’s the need for that kind of cynicism. The Bishops could very well vote it down and, if not, there were amendments passed that keep them from revising to the point of removing key elements, not to mention that whatever they come up with can be voted down later. And I fail to see how this is PB Curry’s fault. It’s not like he can wave a magic wand and make this all go away.

    2. Darryl Grant says:

      AMEN!

    3. Dani Rice says:

      Amen, Frances, Amen. My husband – who was raised Southern Baptist – fell in love with me and the 1982 BCP at about the same time. There is an Anglican Church not too far from us, and we are both about ready to leave the parish where we were married and our children baptized to worship there, in the beauty of holiness. Enough with the What’s Happenin’ Now, folks. People come to church to find some stability in their lives. Quit changing the rules!

  10. Keith Gardner says:

    Jesus was a Jew, so what race are Jews? So I know for a fact that Jesus was male in fact male, and he called God father, so in two persons God is male, as for the Holy Spirit I’ve never associated a gender. So, I’m never going to change the way that I refer to God in the name of inclusion. Neither should anyone else, had God wanted a daughter to die our sins he would have provided, and if God was a women Jesus would have called her mother. I love and respect women, just as my father and my grandfather but they did not pray to female and they were good men, good Christians. You can’t keep changing the Bible to support contemporary morays. You also can’t use the Bible to support past evils. But the Bible and Prayer Book are the tools of Episcopalians and they need to support each other. But now our Bibles stay at home on Sunday, and many parishes even the Pray Book stays at home an we read from a common screen, or bulletin, so we just show up and read. Sad.

  11. David Schreyer says:

    This marks the beginning of the end for TEC. After 5 years of proud membership, I will the Church and become Eastern Orthodox should the Bishops approve this disaster. I am EXTREMELY disappointed in Bishop Curry, while an excellent preacher and has more notoriety from his sermon at the “royal wedding” and I find him to be a coward to not have much of a say in this horrible decision. My doubts in his leadership and with the rest of TEC bishops are an extreme blow to what I now see is a dying Anglican movement. I also strongly disagree with same sex marriage we had under Former Bishop Schorri. Bishop Curry will go down in Episcopal Church history as the Bishop who neutered God from the BCP. I have no regrets over my opinions or observations. But the handwriting is on the wall. TEC has been given a death sentence.

    1. David Schreyer says:

      In my anger I left out a few words…My apologies. Can trust texting on a cell phone.

      1. Matt Ouellette says:

        How is PB Curry a coward? It’s not like he can wave a magic wand and stop this. He’s staying neutral and allowing both parties debate the issue. I don’t think it’s his place to insert himself into this debate.

        1. David Schreyer says:

          Who heads the Church? Michael Bruce Curry that’s who!

          1. Matt Ouellette says:

            But he’s not a dictator. He doesn’t have papal-like authority over the church, nor is it his place to insert himself into every issue the church is dealing with.

        2. Frank Harrision says:

          Whilst the PD is neither a dictator nor the Pope he has, within the Episcopal Church, a good deal of “moral authority. ” That being accepted, he can lead by example and word. His example and word grow out of the late eighteen hundreds Social Gospel movement. Most of what he says and how he says it is driven by this Jesus Movement attitude — mostly rhetoric and very little historic theology or respect for the history and traditions of the church. ADMITTEDLY there are grave social problems today. But, these are best face, by the church, from the stance of a strong theological frame set within a long tradition of Anglicanism. If there is now little of such a frame upon which we all operate, then terms such as “love,” “respect,” “justice,” “rights,” “person,” “God,” etc. are EMPTY and merely emotional cards to play, or revert back to what is ambiguously and vaguely understood in the secular and materialistic world of our time. I am fearful that a good many of Episcopalians are not interested in the theology and history of Anglicanism and/or have been poorly taught by their priest about the church. These people, ignorant of the church, its theology and history, concentrate on “good deads” and emotional language thinking that this IS the activity of the church, (THE activity of the church is the celebration of the sacraments.) IF all of this IS the case and the extent to which it is the case, then one might as well leave the Episcopal Church and join the Red Cross or some other secular, charitable institution. I do not mean this to sound as if I am ranting. I do mean what I say as a reasonable view of what is happening in the Episcopal Church today.

  12. REV. HARVEY E. BALE says:

    The end of the inclusive 1979 BCP is the end of the ECA. God does not have a plan for our continuation no matter what stupid things we do.. No, he no longer has a reason for our existence. Accompanied with all due historical hubris, we give in.

  13. Elizabeth Larson says:

    I believe the 8 million dollars would be better spent helping to alleviate hunger in the world.

  14. David Schreyer says:

    One more thing before I drown my sorrows with ice cream over this latest outrage…I think its time to ask Gay Jennings Clark to resign and while some of us are at put Bishop Curry on the hot seat to explain how this is part of the “Jesus Movement.” Clark is definitely the mastermind and someone I do not have a ounce of confidence in. Shameful!!

    1. Nancy Lee Jose says:

      I still recall the care and patience The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings took with me at a clergy Creedo conference years ago. She left an indelible ‘mark’ on my early formation as a new(ish) priest. I found her then and today a woman of integrity and fearless love for the stranger and friend. It’s beneath you sir to call her out in the manner in which you have. We can all do better, each of us. And during this tumultuous time in our nations history may I suggest you reread the Collect for today (Propers 9) as well as the appointed Psalm. In my humble opinion we need one another even as we disagree on ‘family challenges’. Name calling will not get us to where we need to go, bending our knees and grasping the hem of Jesus— then moving out into the world doing the best we can. She has my full support as does our Presiding Bishop. The Rev. Dr. Nancy Lee Jose

      1. hamilton jones says:

        Supposedly the “care and patience” was not extended at the last General Convention towards those who did not speak English and opposed same sex marriage for theological reasons.

    2. kilty mcgowen says:

      It is time to stop with the revisions. Since the TEC has already revised the Bible as a part of the churches foundation perhaps it is best to just call this church the to whom it may concern church. No gender acknowledged. If you don’t like the words or genders used in the Bible just revise them. Don’t look at the historic languages, if it doesn’t fit the moment just change it. This church is no longer a church it has become a social movement. It’s historic beauty has been thrown out, the traditions are almost gone, the theology…yes, where is it today? Next PETA will have its say and the reference to the sacrifice of the lamb will be gone. No wonder many former Episcopalians are turning to the Roman Rite where Liturgy, tradition and compassion are still practiced. A few loud radical liberals have ruined this church which has always been inclusive and welcoming. They want it this way, not the way God planed it to be and ordained it so. Soon our priests will no longer prepare and present the Mass properly dressed. No more vestments, no more hosts just some bread and grape juice will do. Yes I have seen this happen. This will be a come as you are and be what you want to be. Forget God’s laws but know by doing so you place yourself in great jeopardy.

      1. David Schreyer says:

        I saw a Facebook comment refer to all of this revisionary rubbish as feminist theology. I will hold my tongue here. But nothing good comes out of any modern day theology that only intends to appease the “minority masses.” (Minorities of race is not what I mean here. It’s called “special interest groups.”)

      2. Frank Harrision says:

        You are on target. This is too bad, but it is the case.

    3. kilty mcgowen says:

      This formerly great church is no longer a viable church. It has become an irreparable liberal cause of the day. Where have all the reasonable people gone? Where are those who love our Liturgy’s and Traditions? They have found other church homes to attend, those that still believe in the real God, The Triune God. The Risen Lord, Marching in the streets, causing disruption and illegal acts will never change anything. These methods are nothing more than divisive acts carried out by people who don’t even know what they are protesting! These people state they do all of this from the heart, acts of love. This is not what we were ordered to do. Even some bishops post hateful comments over and over and no one asks why they are openly preaching hate. If the church is to survive it will not do so with a radical, liberal group forcing their beliefs on those who chose to follow God and not what the current rage is when they don’t understand the depth of separation this causes.

      1. Kathleen Hansen says:

        I agree. I am so troubled that my church has let secularism force it’s way through the doors. I am afraid if this passes I will be worshipping at St. Mattress on Sundays from now on.

  15. Richard Gonzalez says:

    I was never taught that God was white and have never believed that God is white or brown, God is God. With all due respect to Rev. Johnson being made in God’s image could mean that we all have eyes, ears, arms ,legs, etc. Also Jesus calls God “father”, so are we who have never seen God right? And Jesus wrong? After all he said no one has seen God but the one and only son John 1:18. If Jesus calls him father then so will I.

  16. Len Freeman says:

    Hope Bishops use some sense and reject this. Clergy experience worship differently from the rest of the congregation… we do it a lot, and so get bored or want something “innovative” while the average parishioner gets to church maybe twice a month, and for whom then, something repetitive is in fact positive…. as in the eastern mode where familiarity with texts doesn’t make them obsolete, but rather enables the conscious mind to let go and connect with God on another level.
    BCP revision per se will not be a plus for EC at this time in our lives.

  17. Rev. Dr. James Hargis says:

    This resolution is misguided. We so eager to be “with the program,” that we forgot God’s program.

    ds

  18. The Rev. George Glazier says:

    The split between the “yes” votes and the “no and divided” votes of both clergy and laity does not speak of a groundswell movement for revision. In such a case wouldn’t a move toward more publications like “Enriching our Worship” be a way forward. Supplemental liturgies and experimental liturgies for those who want them rather than trying for a total revision like the one in 1979.

    1. Preston Mitchell says:

      Amen

  19. Sherman Hesselgrave says:

    Passing by 70% or higher in both orders (not counting the divided deputations) is a pretty significant affirmation to move ahead with this. As a one-time clergy deputy, now serving in the Anglican Church of Canada, and in a congregation that has been invested in inclusive language for a long time, I have come to the conclusion that Julian of Norwich came to in the 14th-15th c., namely that “as surely as God is our Father, God is our Mother.” We pray the Saviour’s Prayer each Sunday, beginning, “O God, our Mother and Father in heaven….” Once in a great while, a visitor will arrive early and, in perusing the service, notice this liturgical anomaly, and find it a reason not to stay for worship. We are always happy to direct them to the Cathedral, a ten-minute walk away.

  20. The Rev. Canon E. T. Malone, Jr. says:

    In most cases, the deputies elected to General Convention are activists whose opinions do not reflect accurately those of the majority in their dioceses. That is certainly the case with North Carolina, where I am rector of a small parish. No one in my town is eager for Prayer Book revision. In fact, it is dreaded and considered unnecessary. If bishops had the courage to poll the people of their dioceses, they would find that a vast majority do not want to change the Prayer Book. The bishops’ lack of courage is demonstrated in their unwillingness to discipline the individual clergy who take it upon themselves to “edit” the liturgy every Sunday to suit their own theological preferences. The perception that there is a grassroots desire for Prayer Book revision is false. If such a revision takes place, it will be the impetus for further departures of former loyal Episcopalians from the Church. Boarding that out-going train will be tempting for many of us.

    1. David Schreyer says:

      I believe Canon Malone you have conveyed what I have been trying say minus the major irritation. Thank you.

    2. Frank Harrision says:

      indeed, you are correct in your views. One of the issues IS how delegates to the General Convention are chosen and from what pool of contenders. Often times the personal positions of the delegates do not represent the parish members of the dioceses. But, it seems that the delegates do not even try to consider, and certainly not represent, any position other than their personal ones when at General Convention. This is not to be a good delegate. As a priest, you know that this has been “in the making” for several decades. Such self-centered liberalism is now truly out of the closet.

  21. PJ Cabbiness says:

    The ultra radical leftist takeover of our once honorable church is essentially complete with the actions taken at this convention. Once this antagonistic, contrived, politically motivated and disingenuous revision occurs, there will only be a handful of Episcopalians left to use the new book of common, socialist, revisionist, cultish common prayer.

  22. STANLEY ZIMMERMAN says:

    The opinion of this writer is a) Practice fiscal stewardship rather than waste $11million to change
    a stable BCP. b) Don’t change it at all, leave it as is, there is not one thing “wrong” with it.
    c) If there are some “new” ideas, worship formats, etc., do what other denominations have done,
    simply make up a BCP supplement in paperback, and available by parish choice, not mandated
    for everyone. Changing the BCP causes persons like me to question church leadership. Perhaps that’s what needs changing. Think about it.

    1. John Hobart says:

      I think a lot of people have been questioning the quality of our leadership for quite some time. The Episcopal Church, like most of the mainline Protestant denominations no longer attracts the quality of clergy it needs to shepherd the church into the future. Unlike a business that is failing, we can’t hire a “turn around” specialist to come in from the outside to set things right. I believe that the church writ large will continue to prosper, and I hope there will be an Anglican expression of the church for those of us who want one, but my hopes for the “Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement” aren’t particularly high at the moment.

  23. Carlton F Kelley says:

    As is often the case in our local congregations, whenever something goes wrong people focus on the liturgy rather than the true presenting problem. It seems that our effort at another prayer book revision will sideline our much need effort at evangelism. We are afraid of evangelism, of speaking the name of Jesus, so we revert to our fall back position – the prayer book. If we clergy are “bored,” as many have said, shame on us as that can only mean that we have bought into the practice of consumerism and more prayer book revision has become the idol. We are too much like a group of children who need more toys to make them happy. In any case, there are far too many priests who don’t believe what’s in the current book and the canons – like the necessity of Holy Baptism before Holy Communion – with bishops who are completely disengaged from any godly disciplinary process to correct it. Perhaps that may be because we elect too many bishops with little theology except socialism.

    1. Darryl Grant says:

      Yes, and Yes, and then again YES; thank you for being honest. As the PB said at the recent royal wedding, in paraphrase, let’s look at the healing power of love that flowed from Jesus! The money for this could be spent in helping those people find and seek us, and the hands to help keep the Spirit flowing. Changing the Prayer Book is not a n effective use of our treasury. Opening hearts and minds should be our goal.

  24. Jerry Williams says:

    If it’s wrong in the prayer book, it must be wrong in the bible. (It feels like the scene in the 10 Commandments when Moses comes down and finds the people with a golden idol). Is there a bishop who stands up and finally brings people to their senses ? The tail is wagging the dog.

    1. kilty mcgowen says:

      Jerry Williams: You have got it right. It is our belief that much of this has happened due to the lack of real preparation for Confirmation. Six weeks isn’t enough to learn about
      the church and its foundations and the moral compass has been lost.

  25. John Williamson says:

    Will the heirarchy of the Church ever listen to the people? This is why a consider the General Convention a time of great peril for Episcopalians.

    1. John Hobart says:

      I have come to the conclusion that General Convention generally does more harm than good. I suspect that we can only afford one or two more of them before we are forced to accept the fact that they are counterproductive and too expensive, and that nobody really cares what we think anyway.

Comments are closed.

You have reached our comment limit of 5. You may resume commenting in 24 hours.