Adapted from the Office of Public Affairs
The Episcopal Church is working with diocesan teams to organize a series of Episcopal Revivals in 2017 and 2018, six major events that promise to stir and renew hearts for Jesus, to equip Episcopalians as evangelists, and to welcome people who are not part of a church to join the Jesus Movement.
“I love the surprised response when people hear we’re organizing Episcopal revivals,” said the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers, the presiding bishop’s canon for evangelism, reconciliation, and stewardship of creation. “Why wouldn’t we? A revival is a movement of the Spirit among the people of God, a concrete sign that we want to share God’s love out loud with each other and with new people. That sounds like the Jesus Movement.”
The six Episcopal revivals will vary in design, but most will be multiday events that feature dynamic worship and preaching, offerings from local artists and musicians, personal testimony and storytelling, topical speakers, invitation to local social action, engagement with young leaders, and intentional outreach with people who are not active in a faith community.
The revivals rise from partnerships of diocesan leadership and the Presiding Bishop’s Office for Evangelism Initiatives. Neighboring dioceses are welcomed and encouraged to join.
“These ‘Jesus Movement’ revivals will motivate, equip, and mobilize dioceses to love and follow Jesus and to engage in his work of evangelism and reconciliation,” said Carrie Boren Headington, the church’s consulting evangelist for revivals, who also serves as missioner for evangelism in the Diocese of Dallas. “We’re beginning months beforehand with research and training for leaders to learn about the locations where God has placed them and to build faithful relationship with their neighbors and communities. Then we work with local teams to shape an inspiring gathering that shares the good news in word and deed.”
Spellers said the revivals serve as a foundation for continued service to the Jesus Movement.
“Every revival will have a clear plan for follow-up, to continue to water seeds the Spirit has planted. There might be a new church plant or new Mission Enterprise Zone,” she said. “It might be a Jubilee Ministry born of new, reconciling relationships in the community. Most of all, we hope these revivals help Episcopalians and our neighbors everywhere to fall more deeply in love with Jesus — a loving, liberating, life-giving God they might never have met before.”
Six Episcopal Church Revivals have been scheduled for 2017 and 2018, and more will be planned in the years ahead:
- Feb. 3-5: Diocese of Pittsburgh (pilot)
- May 5-7: Diocese of West Missouri
- Sept. 23-24: Diocese of Georgia
- April 6-8, 2018: Diocese of Honduras
- July 2018: Joint Evangelism Mission with the Church of England
The first revival will be called “The Presiding Bishop’s Pilgrimage for Reconciliation, Healing, and Evangelism in Southwestern Pennsylvania.” It will feature a worship service celebrating Absalom Jones, and other gatherings that invite people across boundaries and into reconciling relationship with each other and with God. Many of the events will be live streamed or available on this page.