Moving Forward with The Faith In the Image of God

Posted by on May 30, 2013 in Archives | Comments Off on Moving Forward with The Faith In the Image of God

Moving Forward with The Faith In the Image of God

I remember the past with mixed emotions. Some of it was good and some not so good. But as they say, it was what it was (as I remember it). For many of us that was the way of the Church and the way of our formative years in the Church and Faith. For me while I was a seminarian I took a class entitled “Apologetics” which was not about ways of saying “I am sorry,” but ways of speaking to the present culture and age in which we are living. The “Apologia” or explicating The Faith to the present culture and society is the task that we all have as Christians and member of The Episcopal Community. It is what some have/do call “witnessing to our Faith.” I like the words “Martyria Praxis” or what some have called “The Message of those who went before us and shared/witnessed for/to/in The Faith.” Perhaps that is because it sounds less offensive or more Episcopalian. Either way it calls us to The Faith and allows us to live that Faith with integrity honoring the past and speaking to the present needs, concerns and for the future.

 

A number of years ago I read one of the Early Church Fathers who spoke about the authentic Church centered in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and organized in its witness under the following four principals or practices: Kerygoma (proclamation, with didache: teaching), Leiturgia (worship, liturgy, corporate prayer), Koinonia (community, fellowship), and Diakonia (service, outreach). I am convinced that when congregations and organizations within the Church follow those aspects, they thrive. It is practical information which keeps us focused upon the message of God’s grace and “for our salvation.”

 

Kerygoma with didache enables us to gather to hear the Word of God proclaimed and offered to the assembled either for worship or for education. It is the time of learning about the fullness of our faith making use of our whole being informed by Scripture, reason and tradition.

 

Leiturgia are the corporate prayers of the Church which are presented to God in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is our receiving in return what God blesses for our use and well-being.

 

Koinonia is the gathering of the community in fellowship as we work, pray, give, hear, and receive gifts of grace and blessing from God and one another. It is the interaction with one another as God’s people.

 

Diakonia reminds us all that we are not called to be isolated with one another, but to go into the world and bring the Good News of God in Christ to all people. Being the mind, voice, feet, hands  and heart of Jesus to the world.

 

Preaching, teaching, worshipping, and serving are signs and implications of a healthy community. There is balance and commitment. There is work and rest. There is study and play. There is feeding at the banquet of what life has to offer and feeding on the food of heaven.

 

The Episcopal Community is able to live into this model with The Rule of St. Benedict. It is empowering and embracing of the fullness of God’s Grace and Glory while using all that we have to offer to the praise and glory of God. My sisters in Christ, I pray that each of us proclaim and teach, worship, fellowship with The Episcopal Community, and serve the world in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. It is in so doing that we become the people whom God has created us to be in “the image of God!”

I am in Christ,

 

Bishop Duncan

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