Thursday, July 29, 2004

From Pontifications
How to market a boutique church
ECUSA's niche as 'that gay liberal church' (and upper-class) makes it a boutique, doesn't it? But I think that may be self-limiting for the same reason it may be for the Unitarians.

From Pontifications' comments:

When my dad became Unitarian a bunch of decades ago, it was still necessary for a socially acceptable person to be a “churchgoer.”
Which is why Unitarianism started in the first place, in the 1700s - a 'church' that outwardly looked like Christian churches but was a social cover for the atheists, agnostics and other freethinkers ... like Thomas Jefferson.

When he eventually realized, some time in the 90s, that that reason had evaporated, he didn’t take long to quit.

Why exactly someone would bother with the New Unitarian Church aka ECUSA is beyond me.
A punto.

I have defined Episcopalians, in a humorous set of Definitions that offends everyone equally (including me- as I said, I offended me so bad that I will never talk to myself again), as “Unitarians with a Trinitarian liturgy.”

I find it ironic that the ECUSA is already a step behind the trendsetters of the culture you describe. They are pushing for same-sex marriages, not blessings of same-sex unions, and they know the difference. I can’t see them terribly impressed with our same-sex blessings. Once again, we are two steps behind the zeitgeist. I expect the ECUSA will still draw disaffected liberal Catholics, but not too many of the secular “yuppies” you describe. They may be amused by our present conflict, but not impressed with our relevance.

“The Church which is married to the Spirit of the Age will be a widow in the next.” (W. R. Inge)

“The Church always seems to be chasing after the train that’s just left.” (Karl Barth)
And from the Orthodox tradition, a different approach to the usual ones in these discussions but 100% Catholic. Wisdom, be attentive:

Reading the Post article it amazes me I made it as long as I did in the mainlines where religion has become the grand enabler. I was reminded first off of Fr. [Alexander] Schmemann’s short book on the sacraments, where he described the gospel not as help, but as transformation. Salvation not only being unlike a form of help, but totally opposed to it.
And:

The brightest and best educated people I know are either churched or secularist. As someone previously mentioned, the secularists, at most, find the Episcopal church’s antics silly or amusing but largely unworthy of their attention. The church-going individuals (by which I mean ones who take it seriously and make it their business to know what is being put forth as Christian doctrine and belief) recognize when they are being deceived, manipulated and subject to contradictory leadership.
Having seriously dated somebody hard on the wrong side of a lot of these matters of faith I know that's entirely true: the churches' compromises to try to please such people don't impress them at all.

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