Early in my vocation as a Christian minister I became aware of the desperate need for the renewal of the Church. I sensed “a call” to that mission and the bishop (at that time) gave me the opportunity in a particular congregation to experiment with the ideas stirring around within me. My connection with Elton Trueblood and the Yokefellow Movement, The Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC, and with those who were writing and talking about the need for this renewal fired my zeal for the task. All of my efforts since then have focused on this renewal theme.
|Weed or Flower? It depends on your perspective.|
I thank God this morning, that the person who is on the journey of becoming fully human (Christian) does not have to succeed! I did not succeed. The Church still needs to be renewed. The adventure of becoming fully human is not in the arriving, (in success or results) but in the journey itself. And what a journey it has been and continues to be.
The key to the renewal of the Church is the renewal of persons! In a nutshell, this means that the structure and shape of the church should be based on the needs of those within it so that they can become who they can be. The Church, however, is ingrown, seeking to increase itself, and its structure has little to do with the needs of the world—and much less to do with helping people discover their essential selves and enabling them to engage with self, God and others.
We can all engage in the renewal of persons. Elizabeth O’Connor writes: “The Bible story of God calling and God sending is an abstract, biblical concept, quite different from believing that God might call me and might send me. This makes God personal. It means that somehow I count—that it might be possible that within me is the image of God. It might mean that I can be in touch with this calling-sending God.” To help another person see this possibility and to act upon it, is to bring renewal, transformation, and reconciliation (“to cause to be friendly again”) to that person’s life. Let those you meet today know that they count, and that they carry within them “that of God.”