Hello St. Paul’s, this year’s focus is “Episcopal Evangelism”. What does that mean – spreading the good news while standing on a milk crate with a bull horn and bible in hand, and loudly screeching why you need to believe in God and his son Jesus? Would that be the way you would like to have someone share the message with you, probably not!
It may have worked in years past; the approach was self-severing and nowadays it’s more about inviting and welcoming others to converse. The approach is so simple and you do it every day and probably not even aware; stopping to say “hi” and converse with a neighbor on the sidewalk, small talk while petting a person’s dog on the street, helping out a homeless person. Really just having casual conversations while meeting and engaging with community neighbors outside the four walls of the cathedral.
As you build new relationships and gain their trust then you can truly understand their needs and what makes them tick. Then you can share the spiritual practice by which we seek, name and celebrate Jesus’ loving presence in people’s stories.
“The Episcopal Church” (TEC) had rolled out earlier last year a video about the Jesus Movement, which talks about following Jesus and helping the whole world grow in loving, liberating, and life-giving relationships with God.
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry: “Evangelism – as part of the Jesus Movement – is about sharing the journey into a deeper relationship with God and with each other, and not about us controlling the end result. It’s not increasing our market share, and it’s not just propping up the institution. If we believe the relationship with a living God does matter, and that loving relationship with each other matters, then evangelism and anything that helps us to come closer as human children of God matters.”
Remember, as Episcopalians, we promise in our Baptismal Covenant “to seek and serve Christ in all persons”. Through conversation and storytelling there is where we listen for and speak of God’s good news. For me (Jen), it was a tough start to share with others my own personal beliefs about God. My friends and family knew I believed in God but that was the extent of it, not a lot of conversations around it. I just didn’t know how to start a conversation and more importantly I didn’t feel comfortable. Years late with faith, confidence, and bravery, plus trial and error I got passed it and now sharing the good news is natural to me.
At St. Paul’s Cathedral there are two licensed lay evangelist, Susan Jester and Jen Jow. We held had an Episcopal Evangelism 101 workshop and the people who attended volunteered to be on our “E-Team” to go on monthly neighborhood walks to meet the neighbors. On Sept.17th at 9:00 am we will meet at the Cathedral and head out around the neighborhood with leave behind postcards inviting people to join us at our Blessing of the Animals event.
If you want to and learn more about evangelism and what this group does the main contact is Susan Jester, (email@example.com) and she is located in our new ministry offices and/or Jen Jow, (firstname.lastname@example.org).
On December 9-10, 2022 the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego (EDSD) will be holding “The Good News Festival” at the Town and Country Resort. Our special guests will be our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry along with The Rev. Dr. William Barber who co-chairs the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.
During the event there will be prayer stations, workshops, children and youth offerings, a special evening presentation (a must see) and lots of exciting things planned. There will be a Marketplace with vendors selling items that are fair trade and various committee ministries as well.
Invite your family and friends, co-workers, partners, spouses, those who are unchurched and want to learn more, anyone who wants to get away and enjoy some Good News!
To learn more about the festival: www.thegoodnewsfestival.com/
Save your seat: GNF: Save Your Seat (jotform.com)
Blessings, Jen Jow and Susan Jester
Licensed Lay Evangelist