The Episcopal Church is working with diocesan teams 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 six Episcopal Revivals will vary in design, but most will be multi-day events that feature dynamic worship and preaching, offerings from local artists and 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.
Revivals are multi-day events filled with such elements as energizing worship and prayers services, dynamic preachers, mesmerizing music, personal testimony and storytelling, topical speakers, and a call to action.
“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. “We’re beginning months beforehand with research and training for leaders to learn about the locations where God has placed them and to build faithful relationship with their neighbors and communities. Then we work with local teams to shape an inspiring gathering that shares the good news in word and deed.”
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.”
Six Episcopal Church Revivals have been slated for 2017 and 2018, and more will be planned in the years ahead:
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
The first Revival 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. Many of the events will be live-streamed or available on demand here.
For more information on the Revivals contact Headington at firstname.lastname@example.org or Spellers at email@example.com. For information on the Revival in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, contact Rich Creehan at firstname.lastname@example.org or check the website here.