St. Luke's Episcopal Church
What is this Jesus Movement language all about? Our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry uses this phrase to describe the mission of God's People. A movement is a group of people that is working together to advance their shared beliefs and philosophy, and if we are the Jesus Movement we are working to advance the kingdom of God's love. We are group of disciples of Jesus seeking to love God and to love our neighbors.
Bishop Curry explains that we are not about being an institution, but that we are the living Body of Christ. In the issue of the Yale Divinity School Magazine, Issue Title "New Voyages: Church Today and Tomorrow, 2015", he says that "the movement serves life, that there is no life serving the institutions, we serve Jesus". We are to be a community of people committed to living the way of Jesus in a way that is liberating, loving and life-giving.
When the Presiding Bishop is asked about how to turn institutions, around he says, "There are no institutional quick fixes or gimmicks that will turn a church around. Bible and prayer--then you deal with the institutions. Then you can transform institutions into servants of the Jesus Movement." Being people of the Word and Prayer leads us into God's mission. Institutions were created to serve people, not people to serve the institutions.
Did you know that the early movement of the Church was called "The Way"? The word "Christians" for the community of believers in Jesus did not come along for several generations. The men and women who were part of the early movement of the Church were Jews, but the gift of the Holy Spirit brought the Good News of Jesus to the people of towns and villages. People were healed, transformed, reconciled by Grace to a loving God who called them to keep reaching the people of communities with His love, and way of service. "The world will know you are my disciples by the love you show," John 13:35. The Torah had been the singular way in which the people were to live in order to flourish. So think about how radical it was when Jesus stated himself to be the way, the truth and the life. Early followers then came to understand Jesus to be the same or more important than the function of the Torah, God's self-revelation to humanity.
The Torah, or God's Word, was viewed as the singular way in which Israel was to live in order to experience human flourishing. "So," you might ask, "what does this have to do with the name which the early Christians chose for themselves?" Think about how radical to the Jewish mind it was when Jesus of Nazareth stated, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him," John 14:6-7. Jesus was putting himself on the same level as the Torah. These first Jewish "Christians" then, understood Jesus to be equal with, even superior to, the function of the Torah--God's self-revelation to humanity.
SO, We are the Jesus Movement! We are called to enter into God's work in our community, and to proclaim the good news of God. I will close with the Presiding Bishop's words:
"Now is our time to go. To go into the world to share the good news of God and Jesus Christ. To go into the world and help to be agents and instruments of God's reconciliation. To go into the world, let the world know that there is a God who loves us, a God who will not let us go, and that love can set us all free."
"This is the Jesus Movement, and we are The Episcopal Church, the Episcopal branch of Jesus' movement in the world."
The Rev. Marianne Ell
St. Luke's is a lay-led ministry. Our pastor provides the spiritual leadership, but it's the parishioners who provide the facilities for worship and lead our ministries that witness to Christ's love in the world.
The Episcopal Diocese of Delaware held its 232nd Annual Convention on January 27 and 28, 2017 at the Hyatt Place, Dewey Beach. The Bay Center and the Cove were also utilized. It was hosted by St. Martha's Episcopal Church, Bethany. St. Martha's is geographically close enough to Dewey they also hosted a light luncheon prior to the convention. The food was delicious of course. And, tours of St. Martha's facilities were included.
The annual convention reviews and submits rules of order, the annual budget, as well as other necessary items for the Diocese. This year, The Rt. Rev. Wayne P. Wright is retiring and a search is underway for his replacement.
The Convention was officiated by Bishop Wright and his team, headed by Cynde Bimbi, Secretary of Convention. Herb Quick was the Parliamentarian. St. Martha's group wore customized blue t-shirts so they were easily identifiable. They answered questions, counted the voting ballots, and presented themselves as a relaxed, efficient group. (They probably weren't.)
St. Luke's delegates were Jan and Gene Grantz. Alternate delegates were Linda Robinson and Edris Irwin-Jasper who substituted for Dick Mickles. Other members of St Luke's also attended: The Rev'd Marianne Ell, Rich and Peggy Boyd, Joe Jasper, Herb and Jocelyn Quick. A reminder, all delegates need to pass a background check several months prior to the convention. There is a deadline which needs to be honored.
The registration room was set up in The Cove which has a beautiful view of the Bay. The Convention Book was included with the registration and is a soft cover bound booklet which includes the schedules, exhibits and resolutions, for example, as well as the worship bulletins.
The Friday evening dinner banquet was held on the second floor of The Bay Center. The food was very good. Bishop Wright made introductions and gave us a touching farewell. The Cathedral Choir School was our entertainment.
Saturday, we heard the results of the elections and ballots, followed by the Holy Eucharist. Lunch boxes were provided.
I am very pleased to report that Camp Arrowhead is naming a new pavilion in Bishop Wayne Wright's honor.
In 2018, St. Luke's Episcopal Church of Seaford will be the hosts for the 233rd Annual Convention on January 26 and 27. It will also be held at the Hyatt, Bay Center and Cove in Dewey Beach, DE. We do need all the volunteers we can muster, but we can accomplish this.
The dates and place are already scheduled. Mark your calendar, January 26-27, 2018. A master plan just needs to be followed at proper intervals.
Prior to coming to Seaford, The Reverend Marianne S. Ell served two churches in North Dakota from 1995 to 2013 - St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Williston, ND and St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, Cartwright, ND.
Pastor Ell is also the chaplain at Bayleigh Chase, a continuing care retirement community in Easton, MD. She also is a leader in the Episcopal Church nationally, serving in CREDO, a health and wellness program for active and retired clergy.
She was born in North Dakota, but grew up in Brazil and Maryland's Eastern Shore. She speaks Spanish and Portuguese. She enjoys coaching volleyball, basketball and soccer, as well as walking, traveling, reading, photography and scrap booking.
Many faces, one faith.
We are a diverse group of believers – engineers, musicians, social workers, teachers, public servants, business owners, parents – united by our shared faith in a loving God.
As Episcopalians, we are followers of Jesus Christ, and both our worship and our mission are in Christ’s name. In Jesus, we find that the nature of God is love, and through baptism, we share in his victory over sin and death.
Oh how easy it is to get lost! With our cell phones and iPads, our 24-hour news cycles, there’s virtually nowhere to go for a moment of peace and quiet.
That’s where St. Luke's Church comes in. We provide a holy place of respite in the tumult of life. So come, put aside the cares of the week and find yourself in the presence of God.
We are the Jesus Movement. See Pastor Ell's explanation below.