I have decided to share my current and ever forming and re-forming thoughts on a variety of matters (first and foremost with our parish in mind) in the form of a web log or blog. My only previous effort at using this form was during a sabbatical leave in 2005 when I was blessed with time to read and time to write. I began that sabbatical by reading Richard Hooker’s Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity while traveling in Europe and Africa and studying at Cambridge University. The Church and especially the nature of Anglicanism became something of a theme over those months of reflection and conversation and I found sharing my thinking as it developed was helpful to me and enjoyed by many of the hardy souls who read the blog and commented on it. I think such a form could again be useful.
Recently was with a group of colleagues and friends. Among the matters we discussed was the question of what big issues or themes would be affecting our communities in the coming months. I became clear that for me and for All Saints’ the major theme for this year would be getting to grips with what it means to be the Church in our current environment and setting. I have asked our vestry to engage this conversation in a somewhat structured way as a prelude to planning for our future life and ministry. We have donesome reading together and discussed it on our annual retreat and in our monthly meetings.
Some of that reading will coincide with reading assignments for a class in contextual education that I will be co-teaching this year with our parishioner David Pacini at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University as students in a variety of church settings consider what it is to minister in today’s church. I expect those conversations will shape my thinking and will find their way into this occasional blog in the months to come.