The Episcopal Church is working with diocesan teams, including one in Pittsburgh, to organize a series of Episcopal Revivals in 2017 and 2018, six major events that promise to stir and renew hearts for Jesus, to equip Episcopalians as evangelists, and to welcome people who aren’t part of a church to join the Jesus Movement.
“I love the surprised response when people hear we’re organizing Episcopal Revivals,” said the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers, the Presiding Bishop’s Canon for Evangelism, Reconciliation and Stewardship of Creation. “Why wouldn’t we? A revival is a movement of the Spirit among the people of God, a concrete sign that we want to share God’s love out loud with each other and with new people. That sounds like the Jesus Movement.”
The first of these will be held in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, called The Presiding Bishop's Pilgrimage for Reconciliation, Healing and Evangelism in Southwestern Pennsylvania. It will feature a worship service celebrating Absalom Jones and other gatherings that invite people across boundaries and into reconciling relationship with each other and with God.
Additional information and registration is available at www.episcopalpgh.org/pbvisit.
The others will vary in design, but most will be multi-day events that feature dynamic worship and preaching, offerings from local musicians, personal testimony and storytelling, topical speakers, invitation to local social action, engagement with young leaders, and intentional outreach with people who aren’t active in a faith community.
The Revivals rise from partnerships of diocesan leadership and the Presiding Bishop’s Office for Evangelism Initiatives. Neighboring dioceses are welcomed and encouraged to join.
“These ‘Jesus Movement’ Revivals will motivate, equip, and mobilize dioceses to love and follow Jesus and to engage in his work of evangelism and reconciliation,” said Carrie Boren Headington, the church’s Consulting Evangelist for Revivals, who also serves as Missioner for Evangelism in the Diocese of Dallas.
Spellers explained that the Revivals serve as a foundation for continued service to the Jesus Movement. “Every Revival will have a clear plan for follow-up, to continue to water seeds the Spirit has planted. There might be a new church plant or new Mission Enterprise Zone,” she explained. “It might be a Jubilee Ministry born of new, reconciling relationships in the community. Most of all, we hope these Revivals help Episcopalians and our neighbors everywhere to fall more deeply in love with Jesus – a loving, liberating, life-giving God they might never have met before.”
February 3-5: Diocese of Pittsburgh (pilot)
May 5-7: Diocese of West Missouri
September 23-24: Diocese of Georgia
November 17-19: Diocese of San Joaquin
April 6-8, 2018: Diocese of Honduras
July 2018: Joint Evangelism Mission with the Church of England