A Church that Looks and Acts Like Jesus
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has consistently invited Episcopalians to reimagine ourselves as the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement, a community of followers who live Jesus’ Way of Love. In these times of challenge and change, he offers this statement and the accompanying resources as a prayer, a vision, a fervent hope for who we seek to be and are already becoming. In his words: COME AND SEE … We are becoming a new and re-formed church, the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement—individuals, small gathered communities and congregations whose way of life is the way of Jesus and his way of love, no longer centered on empire and establishment, no longer fixated on preserving institutions, no longer shoring up white supremacy or anything else that hurts or harms any child of God. By God’s grace … … WE ARE BECOMING A CHURCH THAT LOOKS AND ACTS LIKE JESUS. (From www.episcopalchurch.org)
As we approach Martin Luther King weekend, Bishop Curry’s words are offer both a call to action and an appreciation and encouragement for all that is going on. Undaunted by Covid, St. Luke’s and St. Lukans have established a Becoming Beloved Community Committee, partnered with St Ansgar’s Lutheran Church with new Sacred Ground Groups, held numerous book and discussion groups and other activities, had a guest preacher on Indigenous People’s weekend, begun using territorial acknowledgements in our worship, and worked to insure that the art in both the parish hall and cathedral includes people of color. St. Lukans continue to lead the diocesan Racial Justice Council and helped pass anti-racism legislation – including both support for LD 1626. In addition, St. Elizabeth’s Pantry, St. Luke’s Pantry, and St. Luke’s Haiti committee continue direct support for the full spectrum of God’s people.
The church, however, is not an institution, it is a people. Becoming a church that looks and acts like Jesus happens when individuals – when you and I – become people who look and act like Jesus. The hardest work of becoming Beloved Community is looking – honestly looking — at ourselves, recognizing who we are and who and whose we want to be come. It isn’t easy but the benefits are eternal. Bishop Curry’s words are an invitation to those outside the church who may be looking in. They are also addressed to those of who are already here.