Episode #332

A One Step Plan to Revitalize Decline in the Church

Guest: Ben Maddison and Keith Voets

Series: Crackers and Grape Juice

Host: Jason Micheli

November 12, 2021

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Ben Maddison is a priest at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in New Jersey, and Keith Voets is the rector at The Episcopal Church of St. Alban the Martyr, Queens, N.Y. They joined Jason and the Minion, David King, in a conversation about re-centering the Church on the Gospel.

Here’s the post that got the conversation started:

There’s some on-going ✨ Discourse ™️✨ in The Episcopal Church about ways to reverse decline. Some ideas are good, some not so good, some the same old nonsense that always comes up in the course of these conversations.
So here’s my one-step plan to revitalize decline:
Proclaim the Good News of the Gospel: the transformative reality that Jesus Christ—in his life, death, and resurrection—fundamentally changes absolutely every aspect of who we are, how we live, how we love, and how we act in the world—a stark transformation that can only be described as a “death” of the old and resurrection of the new. Forgiveness, mercy, grace, love, and justice flow (by the power and inspiration of the Holy Spirit) from the incomprehensible reality that “we love because he first loved us.”
Nothing comes before this. Everything flows from it. This is the center and ground of who we are.
If everything we have and are—our structures, bureaucracy, liturgy, teaching, preaching, stewardship, pastoral care, fights for justice—has this at the center, “who can stand against us?”

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