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Evangelism and the Nominees

Titus Presler reflects on TLC’s recent report, “Who Will Lead Episcopalians?”:

It could be that this emphasis emerged because [Tom Sramek, Jr.] specifically focused on the evangelistic and missional challenges of the church in the 21st century. However, several candidates made their evangelistic points specifically in contrast to the institutional reorganization that is high on this year’s convention agenda. [Thomas] Breidenthal is uncomfortable with the chief executive officer role envisioned for the presiding bishop by the Re-envisioning the Episcopal Church report. [Michael Curry] Curry says the church’s task is not organizational development but community organizing. [Ian] Douglas is wary of technical fixes for what ails the institutional church. So it seems more likely that the prominence of witness was the candidates’ own doing.

This is a good thing, for Christian community exists today because millions of forebears were keen to share the good news of what God had done with them in Christ. For any one of us, the historical fact of our own faith derives from the fact that in our own life story or at some time further back in our family history someone shared the faith evangelistically with someone else. This is obvious, but many Episcopalians and mainline Christians choose to ignore or minimize it as they justify verbal reticence about faith as interpersonally polite or politically astute.

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