Barton Gingerich is an IRD Fellow. He graduated in 2011 from Patrick Henry College with a B.A. in History. He now attends Reformed Episcopal Seminary and serves as a Fellow at St. Mark's Reformed Episcopal Church in Pennsylvania.
Lewis has not only united classical Anglicans but Christians in general with his impressive corpus of writing; Jefferts Schori has managed to help catalyze a global rupture in the world third largest Christian communion.
“[The country parson] is in great confusion, as being not only to receive God, but to break and administer him. Neither finds he any issue in this but to throw himself down at the throne of grace, saying Lord, thou knowest what thou didst when thou appointedst it to be done thus; therefore do thou fulfil what thou dost appoint; for thou art not only the feast, but the way to it.”
These pastors are supposed to be casual, invested with “big dreams” to do “big things for God,” handy at enabling a good time during congregational worship, “innovative” with outreach (i.e. the kids find the pastor sufficiently hip), and—perhaps most important of all—adept in the vocabulary of self-help and therapy. In other words, people want to feel good spiritually, and the pastor is to model that in his own life.
To quote Rogers, “The shift from an Evangelical church to a Lutheran church is therefore not simply one of amending a few abstract theological affirmations, it represents a cultural shift for the person as well as a shift in how one conceives of and expresses one’s piety and spirituality, both individually and as part of an ecclesiastical community.”
One of my friends said that it appears “this is one additional step toward peace and trust in the mysteries of God, but mysteries he submitted himself to and has believed in for quite some time.” It is a time of profound realization, in which one sees all of memory through a completely different lens.
On Friday, several lucky spiritual-but-not-religious contortionists got to engage in an all night vigil (not for Easter or Christmas, of course—nirvana forbid!)