Is the church dead or is the church alive? It depends on how you look at it, observes Bishop C. Andrew Doyle. For some churches, attendance is on the decline and dying, especially in transitional areas. But in other congregations, church is a living breathing organism. As the body of Christ, the church lives and breathes not through self-survival and protection, but through self-giving and connection to the web of life that exists in the world. This is how Christ continues to be incarnate in the world, through the assembly of Christ’s followers who are called to live out their lives in generosity and grace. As a priest and now Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, Doyle has closely observed the organism of the church and seeks to help the body continue to be a life-giving organism in the world. Its survival depends on God’s tenacious love and those who seek to share this love.
This curriculum is crafted from Doyle’s book Church: A Generous Community Amplified for the Future, written specifically for the Episcopal Church. Here we seek to take important aspects of Doyle’s work and share it with the church universal in order to show how the life-giving and life-sustaining work of the Spirit can spark and ignite churches across denominations. In order to see the possibilities for the future, the church needs to assess what it has done in the past, grieve, and move forward, keeping what is essential and leaving behind what is detrimental. Only then will the church be able to capture the vision of a life that awaits it and a people who are called to become it.
The curriculum includes 6 films, an intro/trailer piece, and an accompanying discussion guide.
This work is created in collaboration with The Work of the People, the Episcopal Church of Texas (www.epicenter.org and www.AmplifiedChurch.com) and The Center for Urban Reconciliation and Theological Education (projectCURATE.org), and written by Phuc Luu and Kate Martin Williams.
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