It would give Episcopalians hope if the silliness stopped.
For example: the hoo ha about Hannah’s Hopes –Rachel’s Tears. Apparently unique enough to warrant an insert from Episcopal News Service to be released to parishes around the county. Is this not simply confession and healing prayer?
The hierarchy needs to follow it’s own rule book, the 1979 BCP, empowering the laity to do the work of prayer and caring. Do we really need in print the blessing of a pregnant woman? More significantly, why take away the impulse for women to care for each other? This is an offshoot of the misguided attempt to codify liturgies for menstruation and menopause. TMI, thank you.
It is part of the syndrome of denial. No matter how loud and frequent the requests, parishes can never get Bible studies up and running. These small groups of prayerful study, are the places where faith communities can explore the events in their lives in the context of prayer. So, to give the illusion of progress, the Standing Commission flies around the country, meeting around six times during the course of three years, and produces lame duck liturgies.
How about enriching our worship by opening up the gates of church communication instead of deliberating in your aeries? Is it truly necessary to kill some more trees in order to give guidelines for praying the hours? We do not need any expert advice in praying the hours when there are centuries of practices available via mouse click. What we need is to actually do the practice – not take time away from prayer by reading about prayer. When most Episcopalians don’t know there are intentional orders in the church, it might be more effective to get dioceses coordinated and have the monks, nuns, and spiritual directors in the Episcopal Church to go to parishes and practice the hours.
More silliness: The World Music directive.
Parishes with global thinking music directors are already doing it, and the ones who feel their primary mission is to run a museum will never do it. Your public school music educators have been offering world music in their curricula for 10 years or more. Draw on that pool of knowledge.
Here’s a World Music mandate that’s practical: demand every diocese get copies of Lambeth Praise for each parish. The bishops spent enough diocesan money on the trip, there ought to be something to show for it as a resource. The cost for one session at Lambeth for a couple of bishops should cover every church in the country.
My bishop went to Lambeth and we didn’t even get a lousy hymnal – let alone a tee shirt.
What business is The Episcopal Church in? Is it as a liturgy and paper producer? A police squad? Political party? Brand name? A bureacracy and hierarchy?
We are all priests. We are all theologians. Listen to the people in the street. We’ve got a lot to say, sing, and pray. Obstinate persistence in trickle down implementation and theology will have more of us leave. Our time is too valuable to waste watching another meaningless Sunday morning show. And our teens are out the door anyway after confirmation. Why hasten their flight with some liturgy acknowledging the onset of menses?
Thinking about the leadership of The Episcopal Church is too depressing to even offer hope. It assesses its network of telegraph wires, improving Morse Code manuals while Mr. Bell is setting up what will become ATT.