Wednesday, April 25, 2007

More From Bp. Katharine: "Where are the Prophets?"

From Episcopal Life:

..."There is something gravely and sinfully wrong with a world where the division between the rich and poor continues to expand, where some still live in palaces and recline on ivory couches while others starve outside their gates," (Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori) told about 120 parish, diocesan and national church communicators from around the country.

"In our day, the prophets still speak for a world where the hungry are fed, the ill are healed, where all children are educated and no one is denied the basic necessities of life"...

..."Each and everyone sitting here is capable of changing the world. Somewhere, somehow each one of us has the capacity to tame the chaos around us and turn it toward the peace of shalom. So where are the prophets? Who's going to speak those words? Who's going to do that work?

"What you or I do in this moment can bring hope or wholeness somewhere," she said. "The language or images we use can inspire or move others to be change agents themselves ... to move people to a different place. Your ability to tell stories like these can inspire others to change the world"...

...While thanking communicators for their ministry within the church, she added that their task is to "challenge the injustices and death-dealing realities around us and to inspire and encourage others to build toward God's dream of shalom of life abundant, not only for ourselves but for every creature in the cosmos.

"Prophets have two tasks, to critique what's unjust and to offer strength and comfort to the despairing," she said...
There is also this quote that I hope every one of us hears loud and clear:

..."The communion is not monochromatic and that is often what you see in the secular media, as if the whole church of Uganda and Tanzania are ready to throw us to the wolves at the same time.

"I'd like for every Episcopalian to know more about the kinds of mission work going on around this church, what people are learning about the church in Tanzania, Haiti, Taiwan, South Korea, China. We can learn from those experiences. The church in Cuba has something to teach us about thriving on minimal resources and where at times the government seems oppressive. We can only learn from hearing those stories."

She added that "the vast majority of Episcopal churches are healthy and engaged in mission. All the stories we hear about disgruntled churches represent one-half of one percent of the congregations in the church. That's still an eye-opener for many people. They believe what they read in the secular media and they think it's more like 40 percent or like we're splitting down the middle. Talk about the health and vitality of this church. It's an incredible blessing to have my job and get to go around and see that people are doing transforming ministry"...
Change the world in the name of Christ; critique what's unjust and offer strength and comfort to the despairing; engage in transforming ministry. This is what we are called to do. Let's get on with it.


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