A good pastoral letter from a bishop within the Diocese of Lichfield (England). Read it here.
If as a church our overriding priority, in worship and PCC meetings and wherever Anglicans come together, is who Jesus is and what Jesus is asking of us today, we will find these secondary issues look after themselves – because what unites us will then be far greater than what divides us. The churches that are growing – irrespective of church tradition or social background – are those where this happens. The churches that are declining are those where Jesus has somehow slipped quietly off the agenda and been replaced by the latest crisis or issues to do with institutional maintenance. No wonder that puts people off.
Via: Titusonenine – read the comments to Kendall’s post to see what the “reasserter” side of our troubles think. Our attitudes are so messed up, and for at least some of the commenters of the post at Titus19 they have not ears to hear. The bishop calls us back to Christ-centeredness and right focus, but I fear too many of us would rather stick to the divisive issues that, like Peter, take our focus away from where it should really be.
Just a couple random observations…
#1 – I was waiting in line for a coffee at “The Tea Lounge” in Cobble Hill (just north of Carroll Gardens) – this is my preferred coffee house hang-out when it is not just completely packed with people. I normally show up on Saturday mornings before all the stroller pushing mothers (sometimes with fathers) show up.
Anyway…. I was waiting in line for coffee and just happened to notice the number of laptop computers. I was waiting in line for a to-go coffee because there was no place to sit. There were around 23 people sitting around. A few reading newspapers or books or talking. So, I counted the laptops. Out of the 23 people sitting around, 17 were using laptops. 17! There were about evenly divided between Mac users and Windows users (normally, Mac’s win).
Now, this scenario is repeated at Nadras (most exclusively Mac territory), another favorite coffee spot, and at The Fall Cafe (tends to be more Windows people – too bad). Now, at Georgia’s, where I go Sunday mornings before mass, and which is definitively of the Old Neighborhood (working class Italians), there is nary a laptop in site. Of course, they don’t offer Internet access, either.
#2 – It’s interesting to watch people watch people. I was doing this on the subway train yesterday. A young woman was sitting down, the train was full, and I watched her as she watched the people around her. She was intent, seemingly interested, consistent, varied in who she watched, and I really wonder what was going on in her mind. What was she thinking?
Was anyone watching me watching someone who was watching people?
#3 – It is certainly easy to fall into the stereotypic New York City sense that there is little consideration for the rest of the nation. I was walking down the street last Saturday, coming back from The Tea Lounge, and thought, “It can be so easy to never think about the rest of the country. And, how easy would it be to just not care? I don’t think it is a matter of not recognizing the importance of what goes on in the rest of the country, but that everything is available here – first. So much starts here and goes around the world before it comes back around. It seems that the rest of the country could go away and New York City (along with perhaps Long Island, parts of New Jersey, and parts of upstate where all those second/vacation homes are located) would be perfectly okay and may New Yorkers might not even notice.