A Word from the Dean in the March 11, 2018, Adventurer
Our final word on the new 11:00 a.m. service in the Refectory is on the strategic impulse. In 2004, we began to discern this new service because of its strategic importance, which goes hand-in-hand with the evangelistic opportunities it provides.
Nearly 14 years ago, when John Harper served as interim dean, he saw the need for this service, with the changing demographics of people moving downtown and the preferences of younger generations. Even then, he recognized that the Advent was equipped to reach them for the gospel, though logistics continually stalled the question. Towards the end of Frank Limehouse’s tenure, it was reengaged actively, with the Advent even considering additional property.
No doubt logistical concerns remain, but they do not outweigh God’s call on the Advent. We are to make disciples where God has placed us. To seek the lost in our own downtown community and among those who would prefer this worship ethos is our mantle of responsibility. We were already behind the curve in 2004; we now find ourselves 14 years beyond that. Inactivity, or hoping someone else does the work, is not an option.
Because this is a service of the Advent, the Vestry feels strongly that it should take place on the campus of the Advent. We are committed to not allowing our building to dictate our mission. Although we know space is a problem here, we cannot allow it to become the dominating factor in how we do ministry.
The decision to launch this service is rooted in the long view. We have been able to walk the line of remaining faithful to the gospel, even as we are aware of the changing downtown climate around us. What will the Advent look like in 10 years? 20 years? 50? By God’s grace, we will look as we always have: a lighthouse for the gospel of Jesus Christ.