Does the Church still aspire to make saints?

tract-91This is an amazing and timely statement by some Anglican Millennials and Gen-Xers — those in their twenties or early thirties. It is thought-provoking. It says a lot about the Church and offers signs of hope. It is worth the read.

Background: In the mid-1800’s in England, a series of 90 Tracts were published over the course of several years by what became known as the Oxford Movement. These Tracts varied in length from a few pages to book-length. They were about doctrine and the teachings of the Church. Among the authors were John Keble, Henry Newman and others. The following ‘Manifesto’ is entitled Tract 91.


— by the ‘Lost’ Generations

We are a generation of Anglican Christians.

We have surveyed the wreckage that is the spiritual landscape of North America, and despite numerous urges to get in touch with ourselves we have chosen to go to church. In fact we long to be recognized as the Church.

We have been to the raves (or ‘parties’ as they were later called). As Gen Xers or Millennials we have grieved Kurt Cobain & Amy Winehouse. We owned an Optimus Prime, a Cabbage Patch Kid, or Pokémon Cards. We had an Atari 2600, Nintendo, PlayStation 1 – 2 – 3.

We, seeing the poverty of our times, want little or nothing to do with the times. We wish genuine escape that is not escapism.  We know too much about isms.  We desire to experience genuine eternity and transcendence, and, having glimpsed these in the liturgies of the Church, we cringe at attempts to make them accessible to us, or imbue this beauty with pyrotechnics, or even more screen-time.

We are grateful to the generation of our forebears for its righteous rebellion against their forebears; for drawing the circle wide, for fighting against the tides that encouraged bigotry, hatred and fear. We know that there is more of this work ahead.  We are also grateful for the call to care for God’s creation. We get that God isn’t a bearded white male in the sky.  We love the call to love the ‘other’ and live with open hands and hearts.  Yes, we get inclusivity and pluralism – but we also want to continue to learn and grow into who we are in Christ Jesus.

We long to be washed and rooted in the Scriptures, the Sacraments, the historic Creeds and the ancient ways of shaping and submitting to the ­­­­­leaders of the church. We are not afraid of duty, or obligation – but we are weary of placation. We are weary of movements that attempt to stand for all things but end up representing the banality of the times. We do not want a safe, lukewarm faith.

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