Lessons and Carols
... the season is upon us. We enjoyed a gorgeous service at The Episcopal Church at Yale yesterday, rather in contravention of The Sunday Obligation, but gorgeous.
The theme brings up the recent homily of the Rev. Canon Michael Green, senior research fellow at the wonderful Wycliffe Hall of Oxford, at a recent Eucharist of Missionary Commitment - Fr. Green called unabashadly for new initiatives in evangelism and outreach in the Church, and especially asked for an evangelistic orientation at Advent and Christmas services, when the unchurched are so likely to be present. He actually suggested that the clergy please "preach for decisions for Christ at Christmas services." I say Amen.
(additional suggestions for evangelism from Fr. Green-)
1. Conduct open-air Eucharists in town centers 2. Conduct weekly ministries to the poor, (such as open suppers) including clear presentations of the Gospel 3. Host debates at local universities between Christian and Atheist academics 4. Encourage laity to bring friends to services 5. Provide an "Agnostics Anonymous" group within the parish 6. Plan for an enormous springtime baptism in a local river... with a picnic 7. Clergy address practical, lively topics such as life purpose, marriage, relationships in homilies.