Thursday, January 27, 2011

Christ Church, Philadelphia: Celebrating our history and growing into God's future

Fredrica Harris Thompsett once wrote that knowing our history is how we get a running start on our future.

So today take the ten minutes you'll need to set aside to watch this ... a truly inspiring look into the work and witness of Christ Church, Philadelphia. It's a great follow up to our discussions yesterday about the demise of the Episcopal Church being as greatly exaggerated in our time as Mark Twain's was in his. And it's a look into the history of The Episcopal Church that continues to grow into God's future ... firmly planted in its history.

Because it IS part of our history to change -- to grow -- to adapt -- yes, to "revision" -- as we grow more fully into the church God is calling us to be. Not everybody is happy, comfortable or on board with that. And that is nothing new. In fact, it's part of our tradition.

As long as we've had Evensong, incense, acolytes and vestries we've had arguments about music ("Who picked THAT hymn?"), incense (for and against), acolytes (what kind of shoes they should wear and who got to serve) and vestries (a list too long to note here!) And -- as you'll see in this video -- churches have over and over again had to meet the challenge of changing demographics and discern how they are called to serve the neighbors God calls us to love as ourselves.

Christ Church is just one example of how the Episcopal Church has and is meeting that challenge today as it has in the past. So sit back. Take ten minutes. Enjoy.





Transforming Churches - Christ Church, Philadelphia from The Episcopal Church on Vimeo.

10 comments:

Ann said...

The Polo shirt sort of counters his message LOL

Martin T. said...

Nice video, didn't hear a lot about Christ and how he saves though.

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

"Preach the Gospel everday and use words only when necessary.” -- St. Francis of Assisi

Martin T. said...

But words are necessary in this day and age. People need to hear the saving power of Christ. Non faith-based organizations organize AA meetings and feed the poor all the time. The question still remains, why should I walk in the door of that parish? I know of even the left of parishes that preach the saving grace of Christ even though they still err on human behavior.

uffda51 said...

And Jesus said unto them, “Verily I say unto you, let the non faith-based organizations feed the poor. Disregard my earlier comments about ‘the least of these’ and ‘do unto others,’ I beseech thee. Keep the focus on yourself, where it belongs, and keep a goodly distance between yourself and “the other.”

The Gospel according to Martin, Chapter 1, Verse 1.

Martin T. said...

uffda, you misunderstand me. I'm not saying we aren't commanded to do this because we are. But it seems to me that all the focus is on social work and none on the Christian life, nothing spiritual at all. That is why I said that non-faith based organizations do the same thing. What makes the Church stand out?! That is my point.

LGMarshall said...

When someone quotes Francis of Assisi, I think of it as a 'cop out', and a way to avoid Truth. Because what it has come to mean is... 'let me tirelessly do good deeds for mankind, and in my false modesty I'll say.. 'oh, it's nothing, but of course, I'll take some credit...'

If you had 5 minutes with a dying person that was not at peace with the God of the Bible and was on his way to Hell, would you do their vacuuming & mow the lawn for them? Or would you tell them, if they accept Jesus as the only God, they will be with Him for eternity?

God said, 'Your deeds are as filthy rags [putrid bandages of the lepers].'

When Jesus said serve the weak & the poor, he meant those INSIDE his flock. [He was not that keen on serving those who rejected Him. ].

So, you may ask ..."When I'm very very busy 'preaching the Gospel every day without words' just like Francis...When is a good time to bring up the Truth of Salvation in Jesus Christ alone?"

The Answer is... 'Yesterday'

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

Just out of curiosity, what do you do with John 10:16?

LGMarshall said...

[note: 'Allah' is not the same God as Jesus' Father. Muslims deny the Sonship, therefore, it is a different god. Islam originates from ancient Mesopotamia's pagan religions. The syrians and other arab peoples descendant from Ishmael, worshiped may gods... yes, Mohammad narrowed it down to 1 god, but it's still a false god, unrecognizable to Abram and his nation.] Islam teaches that it was Ishmael that was sacrificed on the altar by his father Abraham... not Isaac. Remember! God cursed Ishmael [father of the Arabs]and said.."his hand will be against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers..."[Gen16.12], obviously, still evident to this day....

re John 10:16
..."I know my sheep [Jews that followed Jesus] and my sheep know me -- just as the Father knows me and I know the Father -- and lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep [Followers] that are not of this sheep pen [outside of Judaism]. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd...." JN 10.15,16.

'other sheep'= these already belonged to Christ, though they had not yet been brought to him.

'not of this sheep pen'= those outside Judaism.

[see JN 17:20-23]

That's how I see it....'Sheep' is always a Believer, Sheep belong to the Shepherd. Lost Sheep, have gone astray, and the Shepherd goes and finds them. [as opposed to 'Goats' which are separated out.]
Also... not every human being is a 'Child of God.'-- We are merely given the 'Right To Become'... Children of God.

How do you see it? Do you say... All are saved?

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

In a word: Yes.

In some more words, see today's post.