Monday, September 10, 2012
A Membership Drive?
You Are Cordially Invited!
Unheard of! Impossible! In the Episcopal Church!!!
This may be so. We have been losing members for so long, I don't know if we could even entertain the very idea. I've never heard of any Bishop, Priest or lay person even mention such a thing. The Evangelicals do it. The Right Wing Fundamentalists do it. Good heavens, even NPR and PBS do it.
But the church? Our church? A membership drive? Unthinkable!
Until now, at least at St. Gabriel's in Douglassville PA. We actually have a very healthy congregation with a fabulous Sunday School and Youth ministry program. But even we have enough stresses and strains in the human and financial resources available to us, that we could certainly use a shot in the proverbial arm.
So, we are doing an EDDM; an Every Door Direct Mailer. We are inviting over 6,000 folks to church on September 23rd for Sunday School/Youth Ministry Registration. At fist, folks were a bit excited by the idea, but now as we come closer to the the time, our anxiety levels are rising significantly.
What if 6000 people come to the door? Unlikely...
But what if 50-75 come to see what we're up to?
After all, we've been in the news. We now no longer keep folks at arm's length because of orientation, gender, class, race or ethnicity.
We've come up with this curious notion that we are all one in Christ; Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female, just as the Scripture says.
We believe that we are a "House of Prayer for ALL People" just as Scripture says. (By the way, read the rest of Isaiah 56 and note how God treats the foreigner and the eunuch, those whose sexual orientation is "different".)
Most of the world of faith rejects such a notion.
And Science rejects most of the world of faith because it is a demonstrable fact that we are all one blood without regard to all the false categories so many people organize us into.
So, I wonder what would happen if this emerging "Rainbow Church" were to actually "Invite" people to church?
In some ways it is a frightening notion.
But for me the Episcopal Church is worth saving and worth breathing life into. We've pretty much run out of internal struggles to battle over. It is settled. We are now inclusive of all. Period.
So won't you consider this?
Just give us a try.
Go to the Episcopal Church nearest you and try it on for size...and all you Episcopalians out there. Here's a thought: For God sake's run a Membership Drive. If you need help, give me a call. I'll show you how.
Bless us one and all,