Friday, April 30, 2010
What the church is...
I posted these two quotes in the Daily Writer blog but I think they're worth repeating here too, since they relate so much to our mission.
Christ summons the Church, as she goes her pilgrim way, to that continual reformation of which she always had need.
Coming forth from the eternal Father's love, founded in time by Christ the Redeemer, and made one in the Holy Spirit, the Church has a saving and an eschatological purpose which can be fully attained only in the future world. But she is already present in this world, and is composed of men [and women], that is, members of the earthly city who have a call to form the family of God's children during the present history of the human race, and to keep increasing it until the Lord returns.
This she does most of all by her healing and elevating impact on the dignity of the person, by the way in which she strengthens the seams of human society and imbues the everyday activities of men [and women] with a deeper meaning and importance. Thus, through her individual members and her whole community, the Church believes she can contribute greatly toward making the family of man and its history more human.
The two quotes above come from the documents of the Vatican II Council. They're quoted on page 72 of Robert Warren's [photo] On the Anvil.
ROBERT WARREN was Team Rector of one of the largest and fastest growing churches in England, St Thomas', Crookes in Sheffield. He succeeded John Finney as the Church of England's National Officer for Evangelism and then was a full-time member of the Springboard Team for five years. He retired in 2004. His popular publication The Healthy Churches' Handbook underlines the vital role in a healthy church of people being helped both on the journey to faith and on the subsequent lifetime journey of faith.