There's an old saying that "Church ministries can be a bit like football: 22 people on the field who are badly in need of rest, and 22,000 people in the stands who are badly in need of exercise.”
That saying makes, with humor, a serious point.
For better and for worse, The Falls Church Episcopal is becoming a more "typical" church, with a more typical involved:spectating ratio.
What I mean by that is when I started here in 2012, there were about 100 members, almost all of whom attended church almost every Sunday. And almost all of them were actively connected to their church -- regularly volunteering in a ministry and/or actively engaged in discipleship/growing in the faith/learning to be an apprentice of Jesus.
Because almost all of the "continuing congregation" folks had either been exiled from their property for six years or had joined the church during that exile, they knew, better than most, that the word "church" refers primarily to a people, and not a place. (One thing we have in common* with The Falls Church Anglican -- the faith community that separated itself from the wider Episcopal Church but which attempted to hold onto Episcopal Church property as its own -- is that after finally leaving the property in 2012 but before they moved into their new church building(s) on Route 50 earlier this month, they, too, experienced a season of exile, and for roughly the same length of time.) So one of the charisms of The Falls Church Episcopal is a strong sense that "The Falls Church Episcopal" is a more of a people -- a faith community -- than a place.
I'll take it a bit further. An even better charism -- but one we, like most churches throughout history are in constant danger of losing -- is a strong sense that The Falls Church Episcopal is more of a cause or movement than a place or institution.
As (watch video below) our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry never grows tired of reminding us, we are simply the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement, seeking every day to love God with our whole heart, mind and soul, and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40).
Let's retain that charism.
How? Please fill out a Commitment Card.
If you're one of the "22" in need of rest, we want to thank you and ask how we can support you.
And if you're one of the "22,000" in need of exercising your faith, we want you to step up...to be part of the cause...to join the movement.
See you Sunday,
*please don't read too much into the expression "...one thing we have in common..." -- while the two faith communities have deadly/lively serious differences of opinion on numerous theological, sociological, and political matters, what we have in common -- what unifies us rather than divides us -- is the Truth that "there is one Body and one Spirit; one hope in God's call to us; one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism; one God and Father of all." (BCP p.299/Ephesians 4).