Alcohol, the Church, and Lent

The Rev. Robert Hendrickson, writing at The Sub-Dean’s Stall on January 14:

On Facebook today, a friend sent along an idea that I thought both sensible and spiritually valuable. He wrote the following:

“Like everyone in the Episcopal Church, I’ve been torn, dumbfounded, and mortified by the events of Maryland: what it says about the episcopacy and church structures, what it says about laxity where accountability among church leadership is crucial, and what it says (ugh!) about alcohol and the culture of the Episcopal Church.

Whatever Maryland says about all those things, I do not want the Episcopal Church I love to revert into a tee-totaling culture, on the one-hand. On the other hand, the stakes of this crisis could not be more serious or portentous. Here’s my idea: [out] of respect for the tragedy in Maryland and in penance for a church culture too careless and carefree with the responsibilities surrounding alcohol consumption, the House of Bishops enjoins or at least strongly encourages all bishops, priests, and deacons and earnestly invites all the people of God in [the Episcopal Church] to observe this coming Lent with an absolute fast from alcohol save for the Sacrament.

Read the rest.

Related: TLC profiled Robert Hendrickson in December 2012, when he served as curate at Christ Church in New Haven, Connecticut. He is now subdean at St. John’s Cathedral in Denver.

Image of gin and tonic by cyclonebill of Copenhagen, Denmark, via Wikimedia Commons

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