Disciples, Apostles, and Saints!
This week we will gather after the 10:00 service for our annual meeting. The time in which the congregation does its work all together.
Most of us are used to sitting there, listening to reports about the last year and then electing some vestry members. There’s a habitual necessity to it that feels very 20th Century.
But one of the ideas that is foundational to our theology of gathering and being in the world combines the electric sense of being in the now where we are and in calling others to do the work when we aren’t together.
This idea goes back to the earliest followers, who saw the church as sort of “in session” whenever they were together. And this sense is mirrored in bishops and laity. So when the bishops got together in the great councils, the church was there. And between that time, wherever two or three are gathered, so was the church.
Today, we model that with General Convention being “The Church” in the formal sense, and then, the rest of the time, we are church where we are. And of the two, which seems more real?
We’ve put far too much emphasis at the top. And with it, power, finance, and structure. But the church is just as present where and when we gather. Every single time.