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Saturday, July 02, 2011

And if they still don't come, we'll double down with felt banners and labyrinths!

An Episcopalian parish, weary of the plummeting numbers, goes on emergency retreat and engages the matter head on.
"The first half-hour was devoted to coffee and meeting one another as the various parish groups assembled. A large circle was then formed, and individual statements were given about hopes for the day. Then the program, or rather the games, began. The stated purpose was to relax us, to get to know one another’s names, and to produce an atmosphere of teamwork. Paper bags covered heads, and people had to form a line or persuade a stony-faced person to smile, etc., for two hours [italics original]...

...Then one of the leaders got up and gave a brief history of Christian meditation, pointing out that after the Dalai Lama left Tibet and Pope John XXIII instituted reforms, meditation was revived in the West. A pair of shoe liners was placed in the center of our circle, and we were instructed to empty our minds and listen to God for ten minutes.
No doubt God did speak to them but having already emptied their minds, they couldn't understand Him, of course. Funny thing, though: one of the oft most repeated tropes of Episcopalian innovators is the smug assertion theirs is the church that doesn't require you leave your mind at the door. Only at retreats, apparently.

h/t the Lone Star Parson, whose most excellent blog may be found here.

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