"then wilt thou not be loath to leave this Paradise, but shalt possess a paradise within thee, happier far. Let us descend now therefore from this top of speculation; for the hour precise exacts our parting hence" Paradise Lost, Book XII, lines585-590

Friday, March 1, 2013

the tie that binds

For the amusement of serious Episcopal Church geeks only!

At General Convention last year, a resolution was passed that directed, more or less, the sale of our Church HQ building in New York City, fondly known as 815 (because that's its address).  Somewhat surprisingly (or not) the people who work there submitted a report to the Executive Council that said, "thanks, but no" and then gave some self-serving reasons why they thought General Convention didn't really mean what it said and everything should stay just like it is.

I have to be honest here and say, I'm not really sure what benefits, if any, come to my parish because of the work of the 815 staff.  I don't doubt they exist, but I don't know what they are.  I know what Episcopal Relief and Development does.  I know what the Church Pension Fund does (and thank you!!!!).  I even know what the Episcopal Church Foundation does and the National Association of Episcopal Schools do as well.  I can clearly articulate their mission and how it affects me, but 815.... nothing.  And so my question is this - what do they do and how does it help me spread the Gospel in southern West Virginia?

And since I love to make grand suggestions for change, allow me to indulge my fancy for a moment.  Let's get rid of it, just to see what happens.  Let's try to just hang together based on the Prayer book, General Convention, and support of those groups and networks (and those like them) mentioned above.  To draw on the analogy of my family, we remain so based on a shared history, some physical resemblance, and mutuality of relationship and frankly not spending too much time in each other's business.  I'm all for hanging together as a church on the thinnest of threads because if Jesus is in it, it will all work out and if he isn't... its just as well it goes away.

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