Consider Putting the Way of Jesus First as We Race Into 2022
by Dr. Tom Sine
In 2020s Foresight: Three Vital Practices for Thriving in a Decade of Accelerating Change Dwight Friesen and I document that we are likely to see a concerning decline in levels of church participation in attendance, giving and caring for our neighbors during this destructive pandemic. As you know this concerning trend is already happening in many of our congregations, neighborhoods and our lives.
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry offers a prescription that addresses this very concerning decline participation in many of our churches and our lives.
Why don’t you consider forming a small group in your congregation to explore how to change our lives to “Live and Act More Like Jesus” in 2022?
“By God’s grace …
… WE ARE BECOMING A CHURCH
THAT LOOKS AND ACTS LIKE JESUS.
What does this re-formation look like in practice?
We’ll know we’re moving forward when we…
- Center on Jesus Christ. His teachings, his example, his Spirit, his way of love and his way of life are the key to having loving, liberating and life-giving relationships with God, our neighbors, all of creation, and ourselves.
- Practice the selfless, self-giving way of the cross. The way of “cruciform love”—Jesus’ act of unselfish, sacrificial, self-offering love, or losing one’s life in order to gain it— is our way to authentic life.
- Unite around the practice of a rule of life in small gathered communities. These kinds of groups—small circles of people who support each other in following Jesus with intention and accountability— are necessary for cultivating Christ-centered life.
- Reclaim our Christian identity as a Spirit-driven, countercultural, underground movement. We must break free of the church’s identification with domination systems, empire, establishment, privilege, and social and cultural traditions that have held us captive— and get back in touch with the risk-taking, liberating ways of Jesus.
- Live and bear bold witness to the vision and values of Jesus. We point to the reality of the kingdom (the peaceable reign) of God, and we seek to embody the beloved community, where each person strives for and celebrates the dignity and flourishing of every beloved child of God as much as we do for ourselves.” Episcopalchurch.org/wearebecoming
Christine and I are headed out to our retreat site January 2022, like we do every January, to discern God’s rule for our life for this challenging new year. Why don’t you embrace Bishop Michael Curry’s invitation to create a small group in your Episcopal church to create a new way of living in 2022 “That Looks and Acts Like Jesus” ?