May 1, 2012, marked the second anniversary of the founding of the Unapologetically Episcopalian facebook page. In these two years, we’ve gathered an online community totaling over 20,000 friends.
I founded the page to provide a gathering place for people who have good things to say about The Episcopal Church and who have positive stories to share about its life, worship, and spirituality. We describe this community as “a gathering place to celebrate the many positive ways Episcopalians in 16 nations are unapologetically spreading the gospel of Christ.”
It seemed to me then, and still seems to me, that critical voices often drown out the voices of those who are basically proud to be members of this Church and happily engaged in its ministries. Conversation about the issues that often divide us is necessary, but there are numerous other places for those conversations. We hope that the way we speak and listen to one another in our conversations on our facebook page will influence the tone of other conversations in our congregations and in other online forums.
St. Paul’s exhortation to the Philippians expresses the heart of how we seek to relate to our Church and to one another, “Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Phil. 4:8).
In thinking about a way to express gratitude for what this page has meant in the lives of so many, I sought out The Rev. Scott Gunn, executive director of Forward Movement. Together, we have identified several initiatives that are consistent with the spirit and purpose of Unapologetically Episcopalian, will benefit the entire Episcopal Church, and can be launched by Forward Movement within weeks. HERE is a link to the page that provides all the details.
The objectives of both Unapologetically Episcopalian and Forward Movement are about spreading the Gospel and transforming lives. Both are devoted to building up The Episcopal Church. Both came into existence out of a desire to move us in a positive direction. So,
Forward Movement seemed like a logical place to turn when the time came to celebrate the second anniversary of our online community.
The total estimated cost of all these projects is $200,000. We'd like to raise that much or more during the month of May. That’s only $10 for each of our 20,000 friends. In addition to our Unapologetically Episcopalian community, we are hoping that others who are grateful for Forward Movement will see this as an opportunity to demonstrate their gratitude with a thank offering for these initiatives. The link will give information about each of the initiatives and about how to contribute. Or, you can use the button below to make your thank offering to Forward Movement online, by credit card, debit card, or PayPal.
(You do not need a PayPal account to use this feature!)
Gay and I have made the first gift of $1,000 in thanksgiving for what this Unapologetically Episcopalian community has meant to us. From the very beginning, we have been inspired daily by the comments, responses, photographs, and faith journeys shared in this community. One of our friends who has a position that takes him into some of the more difficult challenges of this Church recently said, “I visit Unapologetically Episcopalian at least once a day to remind myself what The Episcopal Church is supposed to be like.” That about says it all.
The impact we can make through a small thank offering is enormous. The projects are innovative and compelling. This collaboration between Unapologetically Episcopalian and Forward Movement gives us a unique opportunity to offer a measure of this glad spirit for the transformation of lives. I hope you will consider participating!