July 2017 Convocation Newsletter

June 2017 Convocation Newsletter

April 2017 Convocation Newsletter

March 2017 Convocation Newsletter

Convention 2016, Closing Eucharist

In the name of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen. As we come to a close of this convention, this synod of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, I want to speak to a theme that we spend a lot of time talking about -- but first all, learning how to say the words – “Committee on Mission Congregations.” It is a longstanding committee but one that we are reforming with an eye to a new day, a new era in Europe, for us all. And one of the tasks of this committee is to help the rest of us me, the Bishop, and the Council of Advice, particularly with the task of planting new churches. And so I want to address that. Two weeks ago, the South African entrepreneur turned Californian, Elon Musk, announced his plans to plant a civilization on the planet Mars by the year 2050. If it were anybody else, this plan would be laughed out of court, but it is Elon Musk whose electric car, the Tesla, is now the best selling car in its class in America, and who has just finished building the world largest battery plant in the world in Utah -- Elon Musk whose SpaceX is the leader in the fierce competition in the commercial exploitation in space.

In the name of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

As we come to a close of this convention, this synod of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, I want to speak to a theme that we spend a lot of time talking about -- but first all, learning how to say the words – “Committee on Mission Congregations.” It is a longstanding committee but one that we are reforming with an eye to a new day, a new era in Europe, for us all. And one of the tasks of this committee is to help the rest of us me, the Bishop, and the Council of Advice, particularly with the task of planting new churches.

And so I want to address that. Two weeks ago, the South African entrepreneur turned Californian, Elon Musk, announced his plans to plant a civilization on the planet Mars by the year 2050. If it were anybody else, this plan would be laughed out of court, but it is Elon Musk whose electric car, the Tesla, is now the best selling car in its class in America; who has just finished building the world largest battery plant in the world in Utah, in order for everyone to be able store their solar power in their homes; Elon Musk whose SpaceX is the leader in the fierce competition in the commercial exploitation in space. He has a lot of credibility when he starts to talk about this. So, Musk sees SpaceX sending initial materials to Mars in 2018, which is only two years away, and the first group of settlers in 2025.

SpaceX is building a super-heavy Falcon X rocket -- larger than the Saturn 5 rocket that put astronauts on the moon. In order to be able to propel 100 people in a large shuttle-like craft to the planet’s surface, and there, every two years, to send more and more and more until the number of people on Mars reaches one million. Extremely ambitious, but coming from Elon Musk, it is not implausible.

So, why am I telling you this story? Who is going to plant the first church on Mars?! Have you stopped giggling yet? Well, think of it not so much as a pie-in-the-sky-in-project, literally at last, but rather as a thought experiment. What would it take? What is the absolute minimum necessary to have any hope of success in that venture? One of the things that Mr. Musk says what must happen is that the cost of a ride to Mars must go down to at least to $100,000 dollars -- instead of the one billion dollars that NASA says it would currently cost to put one human being on Mars. 

So, given the cost of $100 K, how many people do we have to send? How many missionaries must go out? Jesus sent his disciples out two-by-two, but Judea and Samaria are less dangerous places than Mars, and Mr. Musk cheerfully admits that there will be deaths. So maybe we need more – three, six, twelve? And what must these people have in terms of being equipped for the work of the mission? First of all, they have to have other skills. St. Paul would have said that they need to be tentmakers…for the kinds of skills necessary for life on Mars…life skills in a very hostile environment. It is kind of like living in Antarctica in the wintertime, where the atmosphere is poisonous. So, you need to know a lot of things before you can be a missionary. . .

READ THE FULL SERMON

LISTEN TO THE SERMON


©2017 All Rights Reserved

Powered by Ekklesia 360