August 21, 2003

No, no, no. You do it like this

Midwestern Conservative Journal writes:

And one day, African Anglicans may become wealthy enough to send missionaries to America and set up on Sunday mornings outside parishes like mine to preach the Gospel to the rich, generally white suburbanites walking inside. God willing, I will still be alive so that I can stand with them.

As somebody who has some personal experience with mission work from a lay perspective here and here in this diocese, I can pretty much say that's not how you do things at all if you want to ensure you "will still be alive" to see it. Bishops, if they're smart, will send missionaries on request long before they blindly send them out in a shotgun pattern to the benighted lands of the US. A missionary isn't all that expensive to keep if you have committed parishioners and other churches will rent you space at fairly reasonable rates.

As a byzantine catholic, I would like conservative episcopalians to move to catholicism but if they're not ready for that jump, getting missions set up is just not that hard if you can find 10-20 families who are committed and willing to raise 3000-4000 per month in cash and resources (somebody putting up the priest at the beginning is a big help as well as passing him around for meals, you don't have to be rich, just have a spare bed or extra food in your larder). For a 20 family group, that's $50 a week, easily within reach of most middle class committed churchgoers. The most important thing is to make sure whatever priest is sent has to have a missionary spirit (who will be so bold as to stand on the church steps calling to the faithful to return home to the anglican communion) and you have a few lay people who can partner with him on monetary issues.

My prayers go to those currently without a spiritual home. The US conservative episcopalians are living the parable of the young rich man who is told by jesus to give away his wealth and follow him. Will they be able to pass the eye of the needle? They certainly are physically able to.

Posted by TMLutas at August 21, 2003 08:48 AM