Western MA Preparing for Oct 20-21 REVIVAL
Update: Revival Q & A
So, what is an Episcopal revival?
The Episcopal Church has hosted several revivals. As the website describes it, “A revival is a dedicated series of gatherings that combine inspiring worship, compelling teaching, honest faith-sharing, intensified prayer, and some form of engagement with the mission of God – all for the sake of the spiritual renewal and transformation of people and of society.”
Our hope for the revival is not just that we have a wonderful weekend event, but that it sparks in those who attend a greater passion to be part of the Jesus movement and an opportunity to join in the ongoing ministries to which the church is committed (such as evangelism, reconciliation, care of creation, church planting, formation, youth outreach, justice in our local communities and beyond).
The hope is that those who are not involved in church will become motivated to find a community of faith. The hope is that those who do not know the loving presence of Jesus will be inspired to find him in their lives and in the world around them. The hope is that those who simply attend church will be motivated to participate in the movement of God through Jesus Christ at their church and elsewhere in places of need. The hope is that the revival will be inspirational to people at all parts of the journey of faith, and that after the weekend there will be a renewed sense of mission and spirit in the Diocese carrying us on in movement together.
Who is involved in this Episcopal revival?
Local parishes are encouraged to be involved in this once in a generation opportunity, with members invited to participate both in the Revival Weekend and in the activities planned before and after the revival. Parishes will be offered specific “Revival Skills” such as tools for telling your personal story, sharing your faith, evangelizing, and so on. We want to revive all of our local parishes, every leader and every member, whoever we are, we can all stand a little reviving.
Everyone is invited to participate in the Revival. It is not just “our Revival,” but we hope the invitation to the Revival will be shared with people near and far. We will provide tools to help you invite both Christians and those who might consider the faith. Episcopalians or not, those seeking Christ or open to searching, those from other faith backgrounds, this Revival is an experience open for all people and something to be shared with them.
We cordially invite our neighbors and partners in the community, those we see and those we interact with regularly, those who attend groups and meetings in our space, and those with whom we serve - all are invited to participate in the Revival with no expectation that they convert, accept Jesus, make a donation, or receive any follow up from us in any way. We invite them because we know the revival needs of the world around us, and we see the tiredness on people’s faces and hear the heaviness in people’s hearts. We feel like we have a source of something great we want to share with others. We invite others because we recognize ourselves in them, and we know what we have been given.
How is the revival being planned?
There is a Revival Steering Committee for the Diocese. The Revival Steering Committee is working with teams from each corridor (The Berkshires, Pioneer Valley, and Worcester), led by one or more coordinators. The coordinators and teams are charged with planning events prior to the Revival, planning the day of the Revival, and planning events after the Revival. We see this is a process unfolding over two years, from the initial planning to the follow up.
From April until October, the teams are asked to:
(a) help each parish in the corridor participate in the revival.
(b) Develop some great “Revival Skills” to be shared, things that we can use both before and after October 20 and 21.
(c) decide together on the content of two Special Order videos to be shown at the Diocesan Convention. These videos might show ministries that are reviving God’s people in the corridor. Our Communications Director, the Rev. Vicki Ix, will be filming until July 31.
(d) Work on the details of the Revival itself.
There are a lot of resources available both from our Diocese as well as from The Episcopal Church and elsewhere, and we hope to put amazing “Revival Skills” into the hands of every person and every congregation in our Diocese.
While there are some very specific timelines, there is a lot of leeway in terms of organizing both prior to the Revival as well as during and after October 20 and 21. Each corridor will gather and discern and make plans according to the inspirations, gifts and needs of their participants and the communities in their region. All of the coordination will happen in conjunction and with the support of the Steering Committee and coordinators. We rely on regular and frequent communication so no one who is participating feels out of the loop or unheard, and all feel fully empowered by the Church.
Why should I consider getting involved in #WMARevival?
Each person working on the planning and operations of the #WMARevival is a blessed volunteer who will probably have too many other things going on in his or her life. But our hope is that this is one thing that will both feed and inspire you and make a difference in the trajectory of your faith. If you are able to give time to this worthwhile, once in a generation opportunity, you can help shape the course of our faith forever. It’s not too small of a thing to say that every hand who lends, every mouth who speaks, every leg who walks is doing so for a great good.
In the end we are not planning to make something lovely and perfect, we are giving because we have been given so much. And because we, too, need reviving, and this is a great opportunity for us to find it.
Below is the our pre-revival prayer. We ask you to pray it whenever revival comes to mind. Make this prayer part of your spiritual practice. Share it with family and friends. Prayer is the root and foundation of this movement. Prayer can be your first entry point into the Spirit-filled efforts ahead. Stay tuned for more #WMARevival updates...
The Steering Committee
So much more at... wmarevival.org