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Goal 1: Spiritual Transformation and Fuller Participation in God's Mission

For the congregations in the Diocese of Minnesota to experience a profound sense of shared spiritual transformation and theological renewal, which leads all Minnesota Episcopalians to participate more fully in God’s mission in our world. (BCMS report, p. 8)

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I think one of the greatest losses in our current approach to religion as that church is largely seen as something we do on Sundays.

So what about promoting the daily office and table grace for spiritual transformation?

Granted, we mostly think of a choral evensong when thinking of the daily office. In the cities, we might have the luxury of establishing a rotating cycle of daily morning and evening prayer with each church taking a day or a service. This, of course, can be lay led and can be enhanced with chant or other music.

But the office could also be promoted as a personal spiritual practice at home for those who are unable to attend a daily service. I would wager a significant portion those currently in our pews are unaware of these sections of the Book of Common Prayer.

Likewise, table grace before meals is a sadly neglected institution. Mostly, people just don't know what to say. There were some lovely ones in Benedictine monastic practice.

We could facilitate greater establishment of the daily office with wider publication of internet resources such as the mission st. claire site. It would be best to keep these to a few and simple to avoid overload.

Maybe we could establish some congregations to be centers for the office to help introduce people to how it is done.

To reduce the trend to compartmentalizing religion to a few hours on Sunday, perhaps we could make sure each region has at least one parish celebrating mass on the major holidays and saints days that don't fall on Sunday, e.g. Epiphany, Ascension and so forth. This probably already happens, but the publicity is not so great. I often go looking for an Ascension service on a Thursday.
Oh - and the calendar. We really ought to get people acquainted with the calendar. James Kieffer's biographies of notable Christians (i.e. 'Lives of the Saints') are archived on the site of the society of Archbishop Justus at http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bio. Or there is, of course, Lesser Feasts and Fasts.

Perhaps we should raise enough funds to get every household on the Soundings subscription list as copy of the Churchman's Ordo Kalendar; we can get these printed with a custom cardboard background instead of the generic one; perhaps some design promoting the Diocese as a unit would be helpful.


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