New beginnings (back again)

Okay, so I know this is the wrong season, but what says starting fresh more than new buds?

Happy New (Liturgical) Year, all! We’ve been wrapping up with the November end-of-the-world readings, and now it’s time to get down with some joyful anticipation.

I always liked New Year’s when I was growing up. It might’ve had something to do with the raucous, card-playing group of aunts and uncles that would come over with the same snacks and the same games every year, but it’s also that I like new beginnings, fresh starts. The Old Year is over; long live the New Year. It’s a reminder that life comes in cycles and seasons, and it’s a chance to look forward to what is coming.

This liturgical year, my parish will call a new rector—another new beginning. I am graduating in a couple of weeks, and am discerning my own next steps and new beginnings. Even The Episcopal Church itself is thinking about new beginnings and resurrections. Brendan O’Sullivan Hale posted an article last week on his blog, View from the Print Shop, titled, “Betty White, the Episcopal Church, and Why You Belong on IndyDio’s Restructuring Task Force.” What a title, right?

The post’s impetus is the Diocese of Indianapolis’s formation of a “Task Force to Evaluate The Structure of The Diocese of Indianapolis”—a resolution passed at the 2012 Diocesan Convention, on the heels and in the spirit of a similar resolution passed at General Convention. The content of the post has a broader reach than the southern 2/3 of Indiana, though (probably why it was picked up by the Acts 8 Moment blog). Brendan sets up an extended metaphor for church growth: Betty White’s acting career. Improbable. Absurd. And… brilliant. TEC and Betty White, finding revival through lying in the mud. (You know you want to read it now.)

Death and resurrection are at the center of the Christian story—is it any wonder we act that story out in small ways every day? The seasons of the church year and the calendar year, imagining the future of a changing church, even sleeping and waking.

Or, you know, ceasing to blog and starting again. Because really that was the point of this post, was (re-)re-launching my blog. The thesis is done, the masters is (well, almost) done, it’s time to come back. Happy New Year, episcotheque!

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2 thoughts on “New beginnings (back again)

  1. Hey Alissa, thanks for the shout-out on my blog post. Obviously the Betty White imagery is silly, but it turns out that if you put a Betty White reference on Twitter, it gets a lot of hits. I was kinda hoping Lindsay Lohan’s alleged comeback as Elizabeth Taylor on that Lifetime movie would work as an image as well, but by all accounts, a comeback is not in the offing.

    In any event, I’m bored with the gloomy outlook of so much of the Episcopal commentariat, and if some days the image of Jesus’ resurrection feels a little too obscure to grab onto as we think about the future of the church, well…the good Lord gave us saints to allow us to better discern his action in the world, and I’m prepared to classify Betty White’s return as some kind of inspiring miracle of general awesomeness.

    • So true, Brendan, and thanks for reading. I think some silliness/zaniness/craziness is needed in the work of renewal. With enough zany, there might be hope even for Lindsay Lohan, let alone TEC!

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