Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Navigation for a Church Adrift: APLM Regional Conference, Sept 2015

Navigation for a Church Adrift

John W.B. Hill,
Resident Theologian for ‘Becoming the Story We Tell’

The Episcopal Church will soon be working on a new prayer book, developing resources for ‘doing church’ in the twenty-first century.  But we are beginning to realize that our challenge at this juncture is much deeper than creating more attractive liturgy.

The regional conference which APLM is offering this autumn  (see the July 17 post by president Jay Koyle on APLM's Facebook Group page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/associatedparishes/permalink/10153412878717593/)  will launch a project called ‘Charter Churches’: a collaboration among parishes who are prepared to adopt a shared set of guiding principles that exemplify a ‘baptismal ecclesiology’.  More than that, the conference will equip participants with resources and a strategy for rediscovering our baptismal identity and vocation.

Our challenge is that the majority of baptized people in this culture are living outside their baptismal covenant.  The estrangement of so many of the baptized from the Church, resulting from the long decline of Christendom, the decay of baptismal meaning, and the Church’s failure to provide baptismal formation, is so commonplace that the Church lives as if this situation were normal.  We cannot restore a baptismal ecclesiology until we cultivate a communal consciousness of baptismal calling and provide a path of restoration and return for those for whom their baptism is meaningless.

The conference will introduce participants to a resource from the Anglican Church of Canada called Becoming the Story we Tell as a pastoral way to begin life as a ‘Charter Church’.

The conference will take place September 9 - 10 at the Church of the Holy Spirit, Lebanon, NJ.  The fee of $75US for APLM members or $90 for non-members includes meals, resources, and support services from APLM through Eastertide 2016.

A block of rooms is reserved at nearby Courtyard Marriott, Lebanon (908.236.8500) under ‘Church of the Holy Spirit.’

John W. B. Hill is an Anglican presbyter in Toronto, Canada, author of one of the first Anglican sources for catechumenal practice, a Council member of APLM, and chair of Liturgy Canada.


  1. Couldn't agree with you more, John. Thank you.

  2. You could try returning to pre-Vatican II liturgies such as the Tridentine Latin Mass or the old Prayer Books of the Anglican Churches. I promise you they will work better than any other program or liturgy you can invent.