Parousia: God’s Invitation to a Church in Resurrection
Parousia isn’t a prescription, rather it is a permission to be creative and to take the risk, as God took a risk when his son Jesus was sent into the world to be Savior and Redeemer; to try new and innovative ways of being church, more open to and trusting of the Holy Spirit to guide God’s church toward new and transformative ministries.
It encourages the church to be innovative and bold in our call to access new models to shape and form lives for the Kingdom of God. The Episcopal Church has passed several pioneering resolutions to facilitate the work the diocese has outlined in the vision of Parousia. We shall be exploring and unearthing many of them to further endorse our work in the diocese. A few that come to mind that may be very helpful to our work are General Convention 2012 – Resolution A073 “Mission Enterprise Zones” and GC 2015 – A044 “Lay Ministry”, and GC 2018 – COO5 “Formation and Ministry of the Baptized,” – to highlight a few of General Convention’s work over the years. The New Dreams New Vision Project 2010 sponsored by the Episcopal Church, Church Pension Fund and Episcopal Church Foundation is also on this list. The work by the Episcopal Church allows us permission to do some creative and pioneering ministry in the diocese.
Beloved, Parousia isn’t about changing the fundamental vision of God’s Church on the eastern shore, rather it’s about employing and engaging what the Church has been accustomed to and promoted over the centuries and giving them new life, renewed energy, specific focus, robust intentionality, redefined purpose and a redemptive quality that make them sing the same old song with a different melody and rhythm more conversant to the times we live in. As I have often quoted from motivational speaker the late Dr. Wayne Dyer, “when you change the way you look at things; the things you look at change”. This profoundly compelling characterization of the gospel is the same as the old story told afresh and anew to a new audience and/or to the old audience through new lenses with compelling and transformative outcomes.
May God continue to bless God’s church and people in our beloved diocese!
PLEASE NOTE: If you aren’t in possession of a copy of Parousia: God’s Vision for God’s Church on the Eastern Shore of Maryland (Diocese Ten-Year Vision) you are encouraged to get a copy from your parish office or clergy or go to the diocesan website to download a copy or call the office 410-822-1919.