A Reflection on Genesis II: Revision & Renew
by Steve Matthews, Church Redevelopment Consultant
Genesis II: Revision and Renew is the Redevelopment side of the Church Planting & Redevelopment Office.
When I came to the Episcopal Church from Baptist-land in 1997, I realized that words matter. I was drawn into the beauty of the liturgy of St. Paul’s, Richmond, and since I was so unfamiliar with the words and images, it was a long time before they became familiar. I remember having to ask about the words sacristy, vestry, compline, surplice… and why exactly does the Episcopal Church need “wardens?”
When I first heard the word “redevelopment” I was also a bit puzzled. I understood the concept of helping churches re-up their commitments to be the Light of Christ to their neighbors and to refurbish/ redevelop the way they do things in an effort to be more welcoming, but even 10 years ago when I started this work, the word “redevelopment” felt more like a retro movement – like “let’s do what we used to do, only better so we can once again experience the glory of the church’s heyday.”
In Genesis II: Re-Vision and Renew this is not the kind of redevelopment we want to nurture. While there is some carry-over of value, it is our hope that churches and church leaders who join us will help us find new words, new concepts, new visions for how our faith communities might partner with one another and our neighbors to help us realize the beloved community more fully. Want to know more about what we are up to? Join us on our “Second Tuesdays at 2:00 (Eastern)” zoom calls or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.