Continuing Home

The ongoing saga of a Continuing Anglican church home, as seen by a member of the laity.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Anglican Evangelism III: Practice

Well, I won't say that for me the evening started off well -- it didn't. First, I've been wrestling with a proposal (out for comment) by a government agency that, for all that it might be well-meaning, will hurt a lot of folks. So rather than writing on this blog for the past week I've been dissecting the proposal and writing comments (lots of them) in the hopes of improving the situation, as well as bringing some lawmakers into this process.

Second, tomorrow morning I take off for my summer "week chock-full o' committee meetings." Which means a very early rising, and as I didn't get enough sleep last night, I didn't want to be up late tonight. (So why am I writing this? Well, the computer was still on when I got home, I'm not quite sleepy enough yet, and I wanted to capture tonight's class while it was fresh. And to e-mail myself the week's assignment so I can work on it during the trip.) I just knew the class would run over, so I was really tempted to stay home tonight.

But I was pretty sure I'd be kicking myself if I missed it, so I went. Other trip preparations got in the way, so I was very late to Evensong. To my surprise, it was only about halfway through when it should have been almost done -- and in fact it ran 15 minutes over. Although Evensong was lovely, being late did not help my mood, I confess, and when supper wound up at 7:20 PM instead of 7:00 PM, it declined. Just a bit of frustration and worry, two of my regular/continual failings, I confess.

But tonight: I should have kicked myself if I'd missed it. I'd looked at the material a while ago and vaguely recalled tonight was going to involve "sharing your faith" with others, with practice in groups. This, I think, is the kicker for most Anglicans, and Gordon in fact noted that even within the Anglican churches he's seen men don't talk about their faith. We don't (yet) in the Men's Group. (Hm! Could this be one avenue to the goal of "How do we integrate evangelism into our parish community"? Practice before the group might be an excellent idea, sort of along the lines of tonight's practice; we'd have to start off with those with the courage to do same, but I am ahead of myself.)

In any event, we were given 10 minutes to write down our story, with a number of different approaches given. I was still in my "down" mood, and not certain what was ahead, so I wrote little.

When it came to forming groups of three (or four) with the "sharing/review" program laid out, I was delighted when the groups became not "who was sitting closest" but divided so couples were in different groups which resulted in my group containing two others with whom I could easily share my particulars. Suddenly things brightened.

In our group I led off with my story. Well, not the whole thing because there wasn't time for it all and I realized that under the pressure I skipped a few supporting elements (a picture I failed to fully round out, for example), but under the right circumstances and to the right person this was something I could share with others.

What really surprised and fascinated me, though, were the substantial differences between our three stories. What different roads each of us took to where we are now, and what different roads we will likely take from this point forward as well, but we have a common message.

And guess what? Somehow, we ended on time, 9 PM (PDT), so I had time tonight to post this.

I return home next Tuesday evening, so there might not be much more here before then.


  • At 8:26 AM, Blogger J. Gordon Anderson said…

    What a great study topic for the church. Any chance the outline/notes would be made more widely available?


  • At 3:04 PM, Blogger Continuing Home said…

    Yes. Unfortunately I'm away for a week and they're on the computer at home, but perhaps Fr. Daniel could send them.

  • At 5:05 PM, Blogger Continuing Home said…

    The link where I found this works again!


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