"We as Pittsburgh Anglicans (or Nashville Anglicans, or wherever you are) have Christian foreign perspectives that are quite different from the culture around us. What we need to do to become good missionaries is to develop the kind of curiosity that missionaries have for the culture they're going to.... Understanding others who are not of our own mindset helps us to understand how the gospel intersects with that reality. Jesus is indeed the hope of the nations. Jesus is the answer to everybody's deepest longings. But sometimes we don't understand what those longings are.
"Often in those contexts where we step out of the ordinary, what we're doing every day, we have an opportunity for God to break into our busyness and hyper focus and for us to hear God afresh."
As we prepare for the upcoming diocesan clergy retreat, Bishop Alex reflects on the importance of intentionally taking time away and creating space for the Holy Spirit to lead us in reassessing our path and priorities.
"As we walk into Labor Day, it is important to remember that work is part of who we are. There is something fundamentally dignifying about work. There is something about the image of God in work, which also suggests to us that whatever our work is, we should do it well, because working well is part of our witness.
Bishop Alex shares his thoughts on how our labor (and our rest!) is a reflection of God's work, and encourages us to view our work as a gift, attached to our identity in bearing the image of God.
"How do we make decisions about what we should be doing as a congregation? At the heart of it, we really need to know what we're about. What is our congregational mission? What are we here to do? Unless we have a good sense of that, there are a million good ideas. And the hardest decisions, of course, are not between this good thing and this bad thing, but between this good thing and this good thing."
"There's a great line at the end of the last battle in C.S. Lewis' Narnia series, where Aslan sees all the people assembled and says, 'You do not yet look so happy as I mean you to be.' That is something that we as Christians should stop to think about—are we actually as happy as God means us to be?"
In this week's message, Bishop Alex urges us to remember that God means for us to find both struggle and joy in this life.
"The truth is that when we are not operationally excellent, we expend a lot of time, energy, and sometimes money on things that take away from being kingdom minded, being missional, being invested in discipling, being relational with our leaders. Being operationally agile, being able to respond quickly, having operational and administrative tasks handled well within our churches—and more broadly within our diocese—ultimately supports the fulfillment of the mission of the gospel."
"We need to be unapologetic that making disciples is what Jesus asked us to do... not because we want to grow our particular fiefdom, but because it's fantastic to know Jesus."
In this third video of a four-part series, Bishop Alex explains the importance of the third pillar in his vision for the diocese: prayerful, relational, kingdom-minded, and agile.
"We have a tendency to want to rely on programs, on teaching large groups, which is efficient. But it is not—and can never be—a replacement for relational, one-on-one discipling, for an apprenticeship kind of ministry, particularly in raising up leaders."
In this second video of a four-part series, Bishop Alex explains the importance of the second pillar in his vision for the diocese: prayerful, relational, kingdom-minded, and agile.
"True prayer reminds us that ultimately the work of the Gospel, the work of reaching people with the Gospel, the work of transformation in churches, is the work of God. Clearly we have some responsibility in that. But indeed, it is the work of God. So being at prayer reminds us that we can do nothing, we can change nothing. We need to invite the power and the presence of God into the middle of our circumstances."