The Acts 8 Moment is asking candidates for Executive Council to answer one question ahead of General Convention. While not in the business of endorsing candidates, the Acts 8 Moment (full disclosure – I serve on the steering committee) is interested in proclaiming resurrection, and therefore is asking each candidate for no more than 350 words on this question:
How will you share your love of Jesus inside and outside the church, and how must the church change in order to be more effective at proclaiming resurrection?
Sharing the love of Jesus is my full-time job, not just because I happen to be ordained, but because I am a baptized member of the Body of Christ. As a disciple of Jesus, among the many demands that makes on my life, I am called to share the Good News of God’s saving love in word and deed. As a member of the Executive Council, I would have the unique privilege of working alongside some of the best minds in the Church to encourage the lifting up the gifts of every member toward the goal of bringing the whole world to know of the saving embrace of Jesus. I would continue to use my blog, Draughting Theology, to help committed disciples, both lay and ordained, engage the Scriptures in that place where those holy words meet everyday life. In my ministry context, I would continue to reach out to the underserved in my community, particularly lifting up the voice of the more than 70% of students in our public schools that live in poverty. The world is hungry for love, and there is no love like that of the God of all Creation.
With that in mind, my suggestion to the Church is simply this: in order to proclaim resurrection, you must know and embrace your own story. The author of the First Letter of Peter admonishes his audience to “always be ready to give an account for the hope that lies within.” Whether we find ourselves seeking after marriage equality, prison reform, educational enrichment, or holiness of life, we need to be prepared to answer the inevitable question, “why?” Why do we do the things we do? Because God’s love is so compelling that I can’t help but share it with the whole world. For you, sharing the love of God might mean picketing for immigration reform, while for others it is opening a soup kitchen. No matter the manifestation, the saving love of God shown in the resurrected Jesus must always under-gird the work of the Church and her members.