Living the Way of Love

In the fall of 2018, I did a sermon series at Resurrection Church Called “The Way of Love: Practice for a Jesus-Centered Life.”  The series was based on Presiding Bishop Curry’s invitation to the Episcopal Church to explore various practices each day that would help us live a life of love as Jesus taught.  During that time, we also used the study for the basis of our “Food and Faith” conversation- a monthly gathering that takes place at the Panera Bread in Hermitage.

As part of the invitation to live the way of love, Bishop Curry used seven words and seven Scripture passages as the basis for the “Way of Love.”  The words are Learn, Pray, Worship, Bless, Go, Rest and Turn. Each one when lived out and practiced in daily life could help us live a life modeled on Jesus and embody the love that he brought to this world through his life, death and resurrection.

Each week during the sermon series, we looked at each word and a Scripture passage that connected with that word.  We asked the questions, how does the world connect us to God’s love and if lived out how can this practice help us live as Jesus lived and love as Jesus loves us?  I found the sermon series to be very powerful and practical. As we got further into the series, I saw my own life and the life of Resurrection Church being shaped by these words and by the daily practice that drew us closer to God’s love. The practical takeaways were amazing.

The more we learn about Jesus’ life the more we can live like him.  The stronger our prayer lives become, the more we can be filled with God’s love and in turn love others. As we turn away from our own sin, we can turn toward the life God has called us to live and to be an example of his love in the communities we live and work.

For those who are interested in trying out the way of love, I first recommend checking out “The Way of Love” material at the Episcopal Church website:

https://www.episcopalchurch.org/way-of-love

The site gives great information about the Way of Love and resources you can use to read, experience and live the practices each day.  What I encouraged Resurrection Church to do is to think about that week’s word each day and to read the Scripture passage throughout the week.  Let it become part of your devotional time or your daily prayer life. What does each appointed word mean for you in your life? How can that word draw you closer to God in a way that connects you to the love of God?  How can those words be turned into daily and weekly practices that help you experience God’s love and then live out that love in your community?

Give “The Way of Love” a try and see how the practices change your life and how God’s love becomes more real each and every day.

As Bishop Curry is famous for saying, “If it’s not about love, it’s not about God!”

The Rev. Jason Shank is the priest of Resurrection Church in Hermitage. 

Letter to the Episcopal Church from the Presiding Bishop and President of the House of Deputies

Statute of Limitations Suspension for Clergy Sexual Misconduct Begins
January 1, 2019

Advent 2018

Dear People of God in the Episcopal Church:

Nearly a year ago, we issued a call for the church to examine its history and come to a fuller understanding of how we have handled or mishandled cases of sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse through the years. In particular, we asked to hear voices from the wider church at General Convention so that deputies and bishops might consider both how to atone for the church’s past and shape a more just future. As followers of Jesus of Nazareth, as children of God with all people, we could do no less, and we must do more.

In July, General Convention considered 26 resolutions and one memorial addressing  issues the #MeToo movement has brought to light, many of them developed by the House of Deputies Special Committee on Sexual Harassment and Exploitation. One of these resolutions, Resolution D034, suspends for three years the canon (church law)  that places a time limit on initiating proceedings in cases of clergy sexual misconduct against adults. There is no time limit on reporting clergy sexual misconduct against children and youth under age 21.

As a result of this resolution, from January 1, 2019 until December 31, 2021, those who wish to bring a case of sexual misconduct against a member of the clergy will be able to do so, regardless of how long ago the alleged misconduct occurred. Allegations of misconduct can be made to the intake officer in the diocese where the alleged misconduct occurred, or, if the allegation is against a bishop, to the Office of Pastoral Development. You can learn how to reach the intake officer in a diocese by checking its website or calling the bishop’s office.

We hope that this temporary suspension of the statute of limitations will be one way for the church to come to terms with cases of sexual misconduct in our collective past. Between now and General Convention in 2021, laypeople, clergy and bishops appointed to several task forces created by the 2018 General Convention will be working on other ways of addressing these issues, including a process to help the church engage in truth-telling, confession, and reconciliation regarding our history of gender-based discrimination, harassment and violence.

We are grateful to the many deputies, bishops and other volunteers across the church whose careful work before, during, and after General Convention is helping our church move closer to the day when, having repented of our sins and amended our common life, we may be restored in love, grace and trust with each other through our Savior Jesus Christ.

Faithfully,

The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry                   The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings
Presiding Bishop and Primate                        President, House of Deputies

Greetings from Austin on Day 6: July 10, 2018

Many thoughts as I traveled at 7:30 this morning on my scooter 8 blocks to my last committee meeting… a beautiful, warm day with little traffic… friendly folks along the way.

I was a “newbie” on the Committee for Christian Formation & Discipleship but was welcomed by others who had served several times. We had met 10 times and worked to send along several resolutions for consideration to the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies.

The days have been full with legislative sessions and other activities. The work is challenging and rewarding. The time has flown by. I’ve learned a lot about diversity and discrimination in our church, as well as much about the good work being done with reconciliation, caring for creation, and evangelism.

We have heard testimonies in committee hearings and legislative sessions that were painful and difficult to hear… but also extraordinary stories of grace, courage, bravery and determination.

Worship services are beautiful and bring us back to center. The Texas Night Revival was fabulous. I hope perhaps some of you have listened to the Presiding Bishops’s sermons on the internet. (Editor’s note: PB Curry’s sermons are available here in the Video Highlights section.)

The Bishops’ Anti-Gun Rally and our trip to Hutto Women’s Detention Center on Sunday were eye-opening and heartbreaking. Indeed, time is up! We need to speak up and work to correct wrongs we see being done. As Christians we are called to seek justice, safety, respect and dignity for all people… that includes food, drinkable water and shelter…. together we can do this and more, WITH GOD’S HELP.

You’ve heard me say before that General Convention is an amazing experience… I truly wish all of our Diocese could be here to feel the energy. The Church is struggling, but it is also alive and exciting, blessed with strong leadership, and full of people determined to be part of the Episcopal branch of the Loving, Liberating, Life-Giving Jesus Movement!

Looking forward to seeing y’all soon!

Kaycee Reib is Senior Warden of St. John’s, Franklin, and a lay deputy to General Convention.