A New Oratory

Glad to see a new oratory arise, although this one is more of a “roving oratory” that has events from one place to the next. A unique idea fit for the times.  From the REC’s Diocese of Mid-America’s newsletter, The Crozier Connection:

This past Summer, the Most Rev. Bishop Sutton introduced the REC vision of recapturing and revitalizing our sense of Mission and our initiative of establishing 100 new REC parishes known as REC100. Following the missional lead of our beloved Bishop, Fr. Michael Templin, from the Church of the Holy Communion, formulated a vision for a new mission in Rockwall, twenty-five miles east of Dallas. Having received approval from the Chapel and CHC’s vestries we then formed The Anglican Oratory of Lake Ray Hubbard (www.anglicanoratory.com) to communicate who we are, what we do, and why we exist. What is an Oratory? The word Oratory identifies a place of prayer outside of a local parish church. During the middle ages, Oratory’s were established within communities to revitalize Christian piety and service. Christian homes and public spaces were set apart to keep the daily office, foster personal devotion, and for catechesis (Christian education). Their origin probably goes back to the chapels built over the tombs of the martyrs in the earliest times where Christians would stop and pray. The Anglican community established in the home of Nicholas Ferrar at ‘Little Gidding’ is a beautiful example of an Oratory. The Anglican Oratory gathers in different locations throughout the Lake Ray Hubbard area for one important purpose: to reform people into the image of Christ in the Anglican way. The Oratory consists of clergy and lay persons seeking to establish a common rule of life within a small community. We call people to communal prayer and study for growth in Christian piety, service, and evangelism. We are humbled to have been called to this important work and covet your prayers and support.

It is good to see a new take on oratories being done by the REC at The Anglican Oratory of Lake Ray Hubbard.  Those of us at Prattville Anglican Fellowship support our brothers and sisters and are convinced the best model for catechizing a new generation of Christians, especially those based on historic Christianity, is through a rule of life.

Through regular prayer and teaching, the home can serve not only as a training ground on how to worship but also as a central network for families and friends to naturally generate a church plant.  Look no further than the creation of Littlewood UE Chapel from Charles Bartlett’s own Queen Ann’s Oratory.

It is also good to see the REC engage in a focus on planting 100 mission churches over the next ten years, what it calls REC 100.  Traditional churches should consider networking and sharing ideas on church planting.  It would be fruitful to see a conference on family oratories and traditional church planting.  The first conference could be hosted completely online with Skype or livestreamed to defray extraordinary travel costs.  The ability to share ideas and hear from others could be very beneficial in encouraging others to start their own family oratories and a network, or circuit, of family oratories.