|Letters from the week of 16 to 22 March 2015
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Proclaim by word and example
I read your conclusion with a heavy heart: 'nearly all Anglicans are afraid to evangelize for fear of being thought daft.'
So much for the baptismal promise to 'proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ.'
I continue to evangelize every chance I get, by referring to my own story. This is non-threatening, personal, and simple. Filling the pews is NOT evangelism, it is church growth. Your editorial seemed to conflate the two, even though I don't think that's what you meant.
Better to keep one's repeated promise to God than to be thought daft. After all, there is also hypocrisy, of which we are even more routinely accused. And that accusation if accurate is much worse than being considered as mentally weak or psychologically damaged.
Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe
Paris, France...Province II
22 March 2015
Just deliver the news
My father is 91. He was raised Roman Catholic, in an Italian immigrant family, but he hasn't attended a church, other than for weddings or funerals, since he got drafted in 1943. His only catechism was at age 12 or 13 for confirmation. (He missed Vatican II entirely.) For the past 8 years, since my mother—an ardent atheist—died, I have tried to give him the good news, and some hope, that God is good and kind, forgiving and loving, and joyful. He is not in any way a theologian, but he knows good news when he hears it, and when he heard me say that there is no wrath in God, it helped, he wept tears of relief, although he still wont go to church, unless it's a wedding or a funeral. And yes, we need to have a 'conversation' about what he wants at his own funeral, but I have hope that he has heard this good news.
It might sound like I am a universalist, well, I don't know, but I think that evangelism might be more successful if we just delivered the good news and left the judgement to God. I once got a very short sermon from a very old lady who said, 'God said the wheat gotta live alongside the chaff, but God's gonna get it all right in the end'. And that is really all I need to know.
Michelle C Jackson, ObJN
Trinity Cathedral, Sacramento CA
Elk Grove, CA, USA
16 March 2015
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