by Cherie Wetzel, Anglicans United
Not the demise it was reported to be
I am at the Anglican Mission Winter Conference in Houston, TX. The conference started Wednesday night, and I arrived Thursday at noon. The first thing I noticed when I walked through the corridors was young people. Young men and women in their 20’s and 30’s. Gathered loosely in small groups, the animated discussions were refreshing to see and hear. This is not your average TEC conference with gray haired people dominating the landscape. This is the church we have heard about via the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Young singles and married couples that supposedly only go to non-denominational churches – you know: no prayer books, no hymnals, no organ, no “dead white man” music. Everything is on the screen or the wall and the band is terrific. Authority? No thanks. What don’t you older folks understand about the word non-denominational?
When you speak with the young people here and ask them about their church history, you hear about their prior years in the non-denominational church – or no church at all – and their desire for something more. Something bigger. Something with history. Even something with authority figures. In their searching, they found Anglicanism. The ordered service, the concentration on the reading of and explanation of Scripture. Their commitment to mission, both foreign and local. The emphasis on Jesus: his life, and his ministry and by connection, your ministry. It isn’t naïve expectation, it’s a real desire to find something beyond a job; something that can impact your life and improve it.