John Charmley wrote:
Quote:We all did our 'bit' and it not only got done, it was fun; isn't that a model?
Father Simon wrote:
Quote:(I recall Peter Farrington?s advocacy at our conference the other year of Natural Church Development - Church growth through better distribution of jobs according to Church members? natural talents and abilities).
Father Gregory wrote:
Quote:. . . the Church is the whole people of God, fellow citizens with the Saints and of the Household of God, the Royal Priesthood of all believers ? the vast majority of whom are lay women and men.
The above is what I see in the Scriptures. We all have different parts to play. We do not all have the same talents and gifts . . . in terms of the work of the Church by means of the work of the Holy Spirit we do not all have the same calling. And, I'm not sure this is recognized for two reasons. First, in my experience, pretty close to 100% of the emphasis in Orthodoxy is upon one's own salvation. The thinking here is that both service and evangelism are a by product of one's own salvation (viz. theosis) . . . but, this is always a distant thing and a future thing.
Secondly, the Protestants clash amongst themselves, there are those who would promote a "Church of
the People" and those who would promote a "Church for
the People" (in other words a 'church from below'/
lay vs. a 'church from above'
pastors/hierarchy); BUT, in Orthodoxy there seems to be not this either/or debate, but one of neither/nor. I should qualify this by saying that this is my experience of Eastern Orthodoxy in the US, but all of this is just a non-issue . . . and if the EO in the US was a happy, healthy, functional church then it would not matter that it is not a non-issue. But, as we consider the fact that gifts, talents, and *individual* callings are not being recognized much at all (by either lay or clergy), not being employed, I think it does matter lest we all adopt that smile of resignation.