Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As many of you know, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church took place last week in Austin. General Convention happens every 3 years, and is hosted by different cities throughout the country. A significant amount of news has made its way into the main stream media coming out of General Convention… some of it accurate, much of it not. Of greatest significance was a resolution to do a substantial revision of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer (our current BCP), that would use inclusive and expansive language for God and humanity, and include new language and liturgies for marriage and creation care.
This resolution was passed narrowly by the House of Deputies (made up of elected laity and clergy representatives from each diocese). However, when sent to the House of Bishops, the original resolution was not voted on. Instead, it was completely re-written by a group of bishops and presented to the greater House of Bishops for consideration. The House of Bishops passed the new resolution, which was adopted by the House of Deputies. The passed resolution can be found by clicking here.
The adopted resolution preserves the 1979 Book of Common Prayer as the book of worship for the Episcopal Church, and thus, St. Christopher. We will continue to worship faithfully using the liturgies of Rite I, Rite II, An Order for Celebrating the Holy Eucharist (the format we use for our contemporary service), and other rites as outlined in the Book of Common Prayer. While other liturgical reform will continue in the Episcopal Church, the Book of Common Prayer will not be a part of this reform. St. Christopher will continue to use the reverent, holy, expressive language found in the Book of Common Prayer in our worship, preserving the doctrine and discipline of our Anglican tradition. It is an expression of our collective understanding of God’s Holy Word and who we believe God to be.
So we press on, doing the good work God has given us to do. That work, as Christ’s body the Church, is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ. Our mission is clear. We will not be distracted by the changes and chances of this world. God has blessed St. Christopher richly. Our call is to live into these blessings, using them for God’s glory and the welfare of His people.
I am honored and blessed to be your rector.