16 August 2018
Dear Members of the Episcopal Church in Central Pennsylvania,
As the stores begin advertising back-to-school sales, and the hours of daylight grow incrementally shorter, I am led to thinking about the fall and what lies ahead for us in our common life together as God’s people.
The time that I spent at General Convention in July was so powerful that weeks later, I am still carrying around the joy in my heart that comes from Presiding Bishop Curry’s profound message of Jesus’ gospel truth: The Way of Love is the Way of Life. After all of the resolutions, services, meetings, mission efforts and barbeque that we enjoyed at Convention, it came down to this simple message:
Embrace the Jesus Movement for It is the Way of Love,
and the Way of Love is the Way of Life.
Bishop Curry’s three foci for our Church: Creation Care, Racial Reconciliation and Evangelism will require a tremendous amount of energy, stamina and vigor if we are to see change for the better in our world. In order to effect healing and wholeness- of our planet and in our relationships-and in order to share the joy of Jesus through effective evangelism, we ourselves need to be grounded, supported and encouraged. Bishop Curry’s seven-fold Way of Love offers us a pathway for our own spiritual development and preparation to be missioners in the Jesus Movement.
The Way of Love encourages us to take these seven steps in our lives:
These are practices that will build us up, spiritually, to do the work that we are called to do in our personal lives, with our families and friends, in our parishes, in our diocesan life and in the wider Church. These are practices that will build us up as the Body of Christ and will show others the goodness and joy of following Jesus.
I invite you, this fall and into next year, to join our diocese as we embrace the Way of Love as the Way of Life.
The Stevenson School will be developing easily accessible materials for us to engage each of the seven steps of the Way of Love. Clergy will be asked to share their insights of these spiritual practices with their congregations, and my staff and I will be making The Way of Love, the Way of Life a key message in our teaching and preaching as we work together.
I hope that in this next year we can continue to strengthen our efforts at collaborating with each other for God’s mission, that we will continue to stretch ourselves and try on new and creative ways of being Church, and that, by living in the Way of Love as our Way of Life, we will meet the days ahead with hope and excitement.
With love in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Audrey C. Scanlan
To read more about The Way of Love, click here.