Archive for June, 2012

Missed Communication

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

The General Convention of the Episcopal Church begins the day after Independence Day and I can’t imagine there has been a Convention in living memory that has received so little publicity.

The lack of any national print news since Episcopal Life folded and The Living Church became a sectarian theological tract has contributed to the apparent malaise. There will be an election of a new President of the House of Deputies but how many Sunday worshippers even know there is such a position in the Episcopal Church? The big issue seems to be voting for same-sex liturgical blessings–again, relatively few people care about that, as society had already begun to endorse gay marriages without much ado. 40% of the delegates are female and 21% will be persons of color–but a society worrying about jobs and terrorism has in many ways moved on from the 60’s issues of sexism and racism.

The real issue–the accelerating membership decline of the Episcopal Church–will likely be lost in the parade of exotic worship services, the endless reports, and the tendentious resolutions. No wonder there are so few communications in advance of the Convention. —J. Douglas Ousley


Is There an Anglican Joel Osteen?

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

As the first candidate for President of the House of Deputies has presented herself, and the prospect arises of at least some politicking, we Episcopalians might step back and ask: what would our ideal church leaders look like?

Other than Bishop Tutu, it is hard to think of a current Anglican with exceptional charisma or crowd appeal or even exceptional preaching skills. Theology aside, Houston pastor Joel Osteen looks pretty good compared to the highest ranking bishops, priests, and laypeople in our church.

A further question also arises: if we don’t have the star poet, how do we build our brand? How do we build a church that brings people to God and to the service of God’s people? —J. Douglas Ousley