Sunday

7:30 a.m. – Holy Eucharist, Rite I (In-person only)

10:30 a.m. – Holy Eucharist Rite II (both in-person and online via FB & YouTube)

Tuesday

7:30 a.m. – Holy Eucharist, Rite II (In-person only)

9:00 p.m. – Compline (online via FB)

Thursday

12:05 p.m. – Healing Eucharist, Rite II (In-person only)

9:00 p.m. – Compline (online via FB)

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A Message from Duncan- April 02, 2024

A Message from Duncan- April 02, 2024

Happy Easter!  Or is it?

It’s undoubtedly Easter.  My phone says so.  What’s more, my Prayer Book tells me it will continue to be Easter until May 18th (it’s 50 days, remember).   No, my unsettling headline relates not to the word ‘Easter’, but the other one – ‘Happy’.  Is 2024 REALLY a Happy Easter, or what?

I was kind-of enjoying Easter until I read an article by Ross Douthat in the New York Times.  It had the sort of headline I cannot refuse:  It’s Easter 2050. Here’s What American Religion Looks Like.  Douthat, a serious-minded and sincere Roman Catholic, whose judgment I usually find reliable, went on to describe six groupings of Christians that he thinks will dominate the religious landscape of the US in 26 years’ time.  They are:

  1. Neotraditionalists. These are liturgically and doctrinally conservative Christians, who are highly educated and upwardly mobile. Stereotypically, they live around cities and college towns in conservative states.
  2. Mere Christians. These are people who identify as Christians, but do not think in terms of denominations or even theological traditions, such as Evangelical, charismatic, etc. They are theologically conservative, but less intense, and not at all liturgical.  They are typically middle class and suburban, with fewer advanced degrees and more racial diversity.
  3. Liberal Christians. For generations liberal-leaning Protestant denominations have been declining. This will lead to more consolidation of churches, e.g. Episcopalians merging with Methodists. Some liberal churches will be non-denominational and will be formed of disillusioned Evangelicals (Ex-vangelicals) and Catholics.
  4. All-American Pagans. These are people who practice meaningful spiritualities, but with no element of Christian tradition, e.g. U.F.O. fascination, mind-altering drugs, magic, and witchcraft.  Even though this loose grouping will have no organization and will lack a  common expression, they will be seen as a major American religion, supplying spiritual scripts for a lot of political philosophers and for Silicon Valley.
  5. These are smaller groups but will be increasingly important because of their geographic concentration and high birthrate. The Mormons would be the obvious example, plus the Amish and Orthodox Jews.
  6. The intelligentsia. Douthat calls this group ‘wild cards’.  “Do progressive-minded intellectuals throw themselves into some mixture of paganism and transhumanism? Do humanists make common cause with liberal Christians or even neo-traditionalists against some threatening techno-future? Can atheism really endure in a much weirder American future?”

Feeling uneasy yet?  Join the train.

I kid myself by taking comfort in the fact that 1) this is pure speculation by an opinion-writer who had a column to write on Easter Day; and 2) In 2050 I will either be dead or pleasantly living out my retirement somewhere where I don’t need to be bothered by the decline of the Christian Church.

But then I remember that, for as long as I am alive, God has given me (and you) the task of communicating and showing the love of God in whatever scary post-apocalyptic environment we find ourselves.  The future really is scary.  “Forget 2050”, you be thinking, “I’m petrified by the prospect of 2025!”

So, let’s remind ourselves of what will still be true in 2050 (and 2025)…

  • God will still be in control.
  • Jesus will still be Lord.
  • The American Church may have almost disappeared, but God will still have a plan for his creation, and it will all be moving towards the fullness of God’s kingdom.
  • The world map may look seriously different from the one we see today – with new names on old pieces of land and the disappearance of some old names altogether, but God’s kingdom will outlast human empires.
  • Things will change, possibly at bewildering speed, but our future is secure. Christ is risen.  Death has been defeated; the grave overwhelmed.  We are god’s people waiting eagerly for the restoration of all things.

 

Yes.  This is a happy Easter after all!

Duncan