Issues, Priorities and Advocacy
The Episcopal Church of New Hampshire advocates and educates on a range of social and economic issues, which include the abolition of the death penalty in NH and elsewhere, the welfare of children, the responsible use of guns and issues of environmental stewardship. This is done through legislative advocacy, writings and event participation. This work is in the context of the Biblical command to do justice and love thy neighbor. This is also how we Tend the Vine, together, for the love of the world.
The Episcopal Church of New Hampshire abides and grows in the True Vine who is Jesus Christ (John 15). Living in the Vine, we seek to follow God’s call to the mission of restoring the world. Vines are agile, strong and curious. Vines slowly and steadily seek where they can thrive. And then, they bear fruit. We have discerned three aspects that give shape and structure to how we become more and more the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement here in New Hampshire. The three foci are these: Renewing the Faith, Revitalizing the Church and Reconciling the World. These could be seen as three posts of a trellis that allow us to better tend the vital and vibrant Vine of Christ’s love and presence in this Church and in the world.
Renewing the Faithful
This theme speaks to how we renew and refresh our relationship with Jesus Christ. By Renewing the Faithful we mean how are we once again committing to be disciples of Jesus, learners, and students of the Rabbi Jesus. We are the body of Christ, and as such, the aim and purpose of the Church is to learn and know the teachings of God which point us to the love of Jesus, who points us to the renewal of the life that God longs for all people, indeed for all creation.
Revitalizing the Church
“God’s gonna trouble the waters.” We in New Hampshire appear to be getting a reputation for asking a troubling question. Why? Why do we have 46 congregations, some so close to each other when the costs associated with each are actually impeding our following the Commandment to Love God and our neighbor? Why do we have convocations? How can we use our current structures to revitalize God’s mission? Is the “why” of our activity about living into the love of Jesus, or is it about something else, and if so, why are we doing it? What brings life, and what is simply a distraction? Asking these questions and discerning what God is up to in NH is bringing new life.
Reconciling the World
On any given day in the Church of New Hampshire, we are pursuing God’s mission to heal the world. Through exploring new ways to fuel our churches and communities, taking time to listen and experience God in nature, learning and facing our country’s sin of slavery, institutional racism and racial reconciliation as well as looking for new ways to offer treatment to the addicted, we are called to bridge gaps and come together as neighborhoods and community, welcoming strangers in our midst.
The way of Jesus, the way of love. We pray that we, tending the vine that connects us all in Jesus Christ, may live out our high calling of love and reconciliation, rooted more and more in our love and knowledge of Jesus, in this time and place, and find our life renewed.
Download a free copy of Faith and Citizenship, A Guide to Effective Advocacy for Episcopalians.