Isn't this like eating your seed corn? Now, more than ever, I am convinced that the leadership of The Episcopal Church does not know Jesus Christ. They may think they know him, but it seems obvious to me that they do not.
Evangelism is essential to the Christian faith. It is part of its very core. Jesus' final "marching orders" to the Church are found in the Great Commission
And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been
given to me. God therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing
them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching
them to observe all I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the
close of the age." (Matt 28:18-20)
You can also read Luke's version of this
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; andyou shall
be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the
earth. (Acts 1:8)
I am fairly involved in the Cursillo movement here in Dallas. The first talk of the Cursillo weekend in "Ideals" and we learn that you can determine what your ideal is by tracking where you spend your time, your energy, and your money. TEC has budgeted between 3 and 4 million dollars for litigation (depending on how you read the budget). This does not count providing much of the operating budget of San Joaquin and Fort Worth so they can sue the current owners of the property. TEC would rather spend its money on litigation - to recover empty buildings that need to be maintained and cannot be sold for their "book value" - rather than on growing the Church.
815 is a bureaucrats heaven and an evangelists nightmare. The bureaucratic beast that is 815 needs to be starved. Unfortunately, 815 responds by cutting programs that feed the hungry and expand the gospel rather than going on a diet themselves.
Let me get back to the leadership of TEC's knowledge of Jesus. If you know Jesus, you are filled with a desire to make him known to others. It is now a common saying that Evangelism is one hungry person telling another hungry person where there is food. The leadership of TEC does not recognize its hunger and doesn't seem to know where the food it.
As a Deacon in Christ's One, Holy, Catholic, and Aposotolic Church, it falls to me to "interpret to the Church the needs, concerns and hopes of the world." (BCP 543). What the world needs more than anything else is Jesus. TEC would rather give us litigation than Jesus. TEC would rather give us bureauracy than Jesus. TEC would rather give us unending arguments about the blessing of sin than give us Jesus.
We need Jesus. Please, Bishops and leaders in TEC, give us Jesus.