The Madison Square Garden Revival Tent

Talk has been going around the Episcopal Church that the Presiding Bishop would like to hold a revival in New York City next year, just before the 2020 election. It would take place in some large venue like Madison Square Garden or Yankee Stadium; one hopes the Garden, given the uncertainties of autumn weather.

I can’t say that I am filled with enthusiasm for this idea. When I was a boy, I was touched by a visit to a Billy Graham crusade in Boston. But, today, the idea seems a bit simplistic, not to say old-fashioned. I find it hard to imagine a skeptic or a non-religious person taking the opportunity to spend an evening with a bunch of church people.

On the other hand, Bishop Michael Curry is an extraordinary preacher. While some of his diocesan revivals have had mixed results, there is no doubt that the Episcopal Church could use some new life–not to mention, new blood. And there is no doubt that our nation could use all the religious energy it could get before the 2020 election.

I guess we will have to see where the Spirit leads us. —J. Douglas Ousley

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One Response to “The Madison Square Garden Revival Tent”

  1. jim says:

    Never ever schedule a political event (one of your tags is politics) at a location you are not certain you can fill. In my sordid youth I knew the Kennedy family political hatchet-man. He was employed by the family after he told their political scheduler that he was crazy (or words to that effect) to schedule John Kennedy’s first Wisconsin event in Milwaukee, that it should be scheduled in Janesville, a small town. The event drew a good crowd for Janesville, out into the streets, maybe 2000 in small town Janesville. If held in Milwaukee it could have drawn 10,000 with an auditorium half filled, or less, and the newspeople would have said “small crowd meets Kennedy.” The PB needs to be certain that he can pull in more people than seats. Fill Yankee Stadium? Madison Square Garden? Tell him to aim for Nashville.

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