If we want to understand what Christian love is, we must begin not by talking about ourselves but by talking about the God who loves and whose love looks like Jesus Christ and him crucified for the remission of our sins.
Living with faith, hope, and courage in the time between Jesus’ resurrection and the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come, our life is “on the way.”
Have I engaged this topic in a way that leads to the flourishing that you very beautifully call forth from male leaders? One day God will make this clear. But isn’t the point of dialogue to enter into the fray and to refine each other through enhanced mutual understanding?
By keeping the love of our neighbor and working toward shalom in our communities at the forefront of everything we do, we can engage in these conversations with a love and humility that will then lead to the mutual thriving of those in our communities and extend outwards to the world around us.
A return to the parish model would involve training seminarians and young clergy to create core groups of lay people who live into their baptismal promises, having the courage to be missionaries in the territorial parish, caring for the sick, relieving poverty, providing young people with tools to live for Jesus in a secular world.
When it comes to many of the dominant assumptions of the cultural landscape in East Texas (what Charles Taylor and others call the “social imaginary”), I do plan to continue to undermine them. Historic, Christian orthodoxy, mediated by classical Anglicanism, is a much better way.
Since I have been kicking around the church as a priest on both sides of the Atlantic for more than fifty years, I was recently asked if I had a few tips when searching for another call. I came up with this rag-tag selection of ideas. When he read them, my friend suggested these might be helpful to others at a transition point in their ordained life. So I offer them to that end.