Father Robert Hendrickson at The Curate’s Desk lays out a beautiful charge to rediscover Anglicansim:
There has been much talk of restructuring the Church, this is good and proper, yet my fear is that we have no idea what we are building structures around. There are other Christian pan-Protestant denominations about that hover at the gates of universalism. There are social service agencies that can deliver needed services more efficiently than us.
We are facing not just a collapse of large parts of the Church, we are facing a collapse of leadership, nerve, and vision.
The answer is not Hymnal revision, new governance structures, Communing the UnBaptized, a Kalendar of Saints with non-Christians, guitar Masses, digital Prayer Books, more liturgies about the Earth, or many of the other countless ways many seem to think will lead us to the dawn of a kinder, gentler Church that will usher in the Kingdom.
We have to begin, now, to rediscover what it means to be an Anglican Christian.
He goes on to describe what he thinks a renewal movement would look like in general:
There is a desperate need for a movement that takes seriously the issues of the day while committing to delving into the Tradition and carefully reading Scripture. There is a need for a movement that is unabashed in its proclamation of Jesus Christ. There is a need for a movement that sees social service not as a goal of the Church but as a means for us to be drawn closer to the mind of Christ. There is a need for a movement that is grounded in disciplined prayer and lovingly offered worship. There is a need for a movement that sees the Sacraments as the means by which we know the Incarnate Lord. There is a need for a movement that is ready to move beyond zero-sum church politics to transform hearts and souls.
And then he offers a few points in particular that he believes are needful. A few of them are:
- A focus on the adoration of God.
- A focus on careful preparation to receive the Sacraments.
- A heightened awareness of Healing and Confession.
- An understanding of the Real Presence in our life together.
- A renewed focus on the disciplines of daily prayer for all believers.
We offer, simply put, the sacred. We offer the sense that God is calling us to be a holy and living sacrifice as we are brought into his redeeming love. This happens in ways beyond understanding and can only be termed mystery. We offer a sacred way of being that sees all of our lives as consecrated for God’s use so that our selves and souls and bodies are fed and we, in turn, go out into the world, rejoicing as we draw others to Christ.
But by all means, go and read the whole thing here.