In a world hungry for the hope of Jesus, Episcopal Bishop Claude E. Payne offers a roadmap for individuals and churches to seek and establish rich spiritual lives and to connect deeply with God and our neighbors. Too often, spirituality is privatized and kept under wraps, not to be talked about in public circles. But Payne encourages us to reclaim our faith in the public square, in our communities, and with our family and friends. After nearly five decades in ordained ministry, Payne writes that he has never been more optimistic about the future of Christianity.
Across the country, Payne has witnessed people and congregations full of energy and compassion, committed to a life-giving, dynamic faith. In Reclaiming Christianity, Payne presents a practical and comprehensive model for sharing this faith with our neighbors and communities and encouraging all to seek a deeper connection with each other and with the Divine.
I am convinced that we must foster a way of being Christian that looks like Jesus of Nazareth, whose Gospel way can be described as loving, liberating and life giving. We are profoundly in need of just such a Jesus Movement in our time. Bishop Claude Payne’s Reclaiming Christianity presents a proven model for congregations to use to make the loving, liberating, and life-giving way of Jesus a reality in and through them. Bishop Payne has been a significant mentor to me in my ministry as a bishop. This book will enable him to mentor clergy and lay leaders in the work of forming followers of Jesus Christ who truly bear witness to his way of love, in their lives and in the world.
-The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, 27th Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church
One of the Episcopal Church’s elder statesmen, Bishop Payne possesses the wisdom and perspective of a long ministry and projects the positive energy and optimism of youth. In plain and persuasive language this practical book affirms the principles of good teaching and effective mission: engagement of the whole person, learning in community, sharing leadership, and (my favorite) reading the bible together. True to his affirmation of the power of teams, Bishop Payne shares the voices of many peers and colleagues with whom he has ministered over the years. Readers will find ideas and suggestions in its pages, and between the lines, they will be moved by Claude Payne’s faith, hope, and love.
-The Very Rev. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, Dean and President, Seminary of the Southwest
To hold and attract those leaving churches of all kinds, verified by the growth of those in society claiming to be spiritual but not religious, Reclaiming Christianity identifies why spirituality has been weakened for decades, and then shows how it is very effective nurtured and shared. It also advocates mutual respect among Christians and all beyond, showing how the love that underlies the gospel and scripture can be utilized in a way to leaven society, even as it strengthens the church.
-Fr. Richard Rohr
Bishop Payne calls upon the church and each individual in the church to "reclaim" God's love story. Throughout his book, Bishop Payne presents different practical models so every person will be enabled to participate in the Jesus Movement today.
-The Rev. Canon John L. Peterson
Canon for Global Justice and Reconciliation at Washington National Cathedral, and former Secretary General of the Worldwide Anglican Communion
Reclaiming Christianity delivers practical spiritual guidance for church members and leaders who want their congregations to become more warm and welcoming, who want to see younger families visit and become dedicated members, and who want to feel the joy of authentic spiritual vitality. Bishop Payne has seen the eight guidelines in this book work in real life, and your congregation could be the next to experience the power of "un-privatizing your faith" and "spiritual transmission." A great resource for classes, vestries, and other leadership groups to discuss chapter by chapter.-Brian D. McLaren, author of The Great Spiritual Migration
Bishop Payne has been a thought leader for over 25 years. In Reclaiming Christianity he brings that wisdom to bear on the art of formation. From his own spiritual journey to best practices by congregational leaders today, he challenges the church to deepen its collective sense of faith through spiritual growth and evangelism. Payne offers a road map to guide leaders and members of their congregations in crafting deeper relationships with God, the church, and one another as disciples.
-The Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, author of The Jesus Heist and Vōcatiō, Bishop of Texas
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