Wednesday, July 18, 2018

 
Just days ago General Convention established an approach to liturgical revision that guards the usage of the 1979 prayer book and recommits to its paschal theology. We need continuing formation into its vision. At the same time, formed by that vision, we begin considering matters on which the 1979 book has not worn well. Among them, we must wrestle with its overly male-gendered language and imagery; and we must address its relative silence on our responsibility for God’s creation.
 
The very important matter of expansive language quickly generates debate, though I would say the debate sometimes produces more anxiety than theology. But perhaps the more momentous shift in our formation-by-prayer would be lifting up creation and our joyful responsibility for it. An enormous shift in our theological anthropology is underway, as we recognize we are not the “rulers” of creation (Eucharistic Prayer C) but its stewards, and ourselves a part of the created order; and that we have the capacity to do real damage by our continuing treatment of the earth as nothing more than raw material for our use. There is liturgical and moral work to be done on both these issues, and more. Let’s get to work.
 
The Rev. James W. Farwell, Ph.D.
Professor of Theology and Liturgy
Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs
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