Let me be specific about the call. I have come to the conviction that we are called to three critical aspects of spiritual growth in Episcopal congregations:
1. A more transforming encounter with God, especially in our common prayer, our worship, and our engagement with Scripture.
2. A deeper life of discipleship, marked by personal spiritual practices that infuse all of life, not just time spent in a church building.
3. A more compelling orientation toward putting faith into action, specifically in service to those in need and work for justice and peace, with dear articulation of opportunities to do that.
As I survey the wondrous church, I see a big gap between what we are called to do and be and what we are actually doing and being. In order to close that gap, I believe we need to experience the kind of transformation suggested in Romans 12: a renewal in our thinking and way of being that transforms the lives of individuals and church leaders, as well as the common life of our congregations and denomination. We also need the kind of discerning, sober judgment to which Paul alludes, moving us to a deeper sense of expectation, responsibility, and challenge.
The Reverend Jay Sidebotham
Note: these remarks are taken from an article in the Anglican Theological Review – Summer 2012. It was this article by Jay that excited me as a method to move forward in Spiritual growth at Saint John’s. JWS