Monday, September 26, 2016
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
On the 22nd of September a dozen of our diocesan clergy and friends engaged in a daylong conversation with John Roberto of Lifelong Faith Associates. We began with an examination of just what are the realities of our current culture and society, the ones within which the church serves and the ones within which we all live and move and have our being. What does all that have to tell us about what the church can do in our time, what we can hope for and labor toward in our parishes, and how we share what we believe and hope in and love?
John Roberto's presentation to us at Mercer is available on the Lifelongfaith website for your examination and use: http://www.lifelongfaith.com/presentations.html
John began by saying that in the time we would have together that day we might come to feel like we had been drinking from a fire hose, as there is so much to hear and see and come to understand. But by the end of the day another image had come to my mind. I felt as if a blowtorch had been applied to my imagination.
We have shortfalls and challenges and roadblocks, yes. These are the realities we often see first and indeed have trouble seeing beyond. But, we also have possibilities. We also have tools to use: some as old as word-of-mouth about something recognized as good and worthwhile, some as new as the latest app designed to communicate the lasting good news in a new format.
There was a singular moment when we were face to face with a conclusion offered by some that 'community' as we conceived and experienced it in the past (if we have been around long enough!) is no longer possible. But even at the moment there as an affirmation that we can build relationships, that there are networks possible, nerve pathways among us along which the Gospel can travel even today with all of its electricity and transformative power intact. Indeed, more than intact, the Gospel of Christ can arrive at the doorway to our minds and hearts today revealed as fresh and real in ways that never before have been possible.
In other words, I thought the day was pretty awesome.
Visit John Roberto's website here: http://www.lifelongfaith.com/
I am enormously grateful to John Roberto, who has dedicated (so far) forty-seven years of life and effort to this good work. I am grateful as well to our brothers and sisters who took time from their family responsibilities and pastoral labors to come and be here.
Please note that John Roberto will return to us on Saturday, January 28, 2017. Parish teams of clergy and laity together are invited to come on that day to participate in a hands-on session. Let's take some of the tools at hand and build something together; something that can say 'Jesus' clearly to the good folk of the 21st century.
Blessings and thanks,
Canon for Formation