Wednesday, August 4th, 2021
What does it mean to be innovative? What would church look like if you did not need to worry about money? When the pandemic hit, it challenged and stretched us all. But we adapted. Many of our churches quickly learned how to broadcast services online; provide pastoral guidance over the phone; fundraise virtually; and engage from a safe distance.
Now we face yet another pivotal moment. How we respond to it will be critical; just as decisive and impactful as how we responded to COVID. Right now, people are spiritually hungry and seeking meaning and purpose. As we envision coming back more fully, now is the time to dream, assess, articulate and implement new models and ideas.
As summer unofficially ends on Labor Day, the Offices of the Diocese will release a path forward for all churches. Drawing on feedback from church leaders across our diocese, this path is rooted in holy dreaming, prayer, discernment and entrepreneurial modeling. I am inviting you to be a part of it. Not because I am asking you to take this step with me, not because you have to, but because in doing so your church will become stronger, better. We must reclaim our role as centers of economic, civic, social, and spiritual life.
Our future is already upon us. We cannot wait for the rest of society to catch up. Nor can we be held back fear or those who say it can’t be done. How many critics and cynics did Jesus face? But he didn’t let them stop him. We must be just as determined.
This is your time to reimagine what might be. I pray you will join me in transforming our diocese and our world in the name of Jesus Christ.
The Rt. Rev. Daniel G. P. Gutiérrez
XVI Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania