My reading has me in Emilio Alvarez’s new work: Pentecostal Orthodoxy: Toward an Ecumenism of the Spirit. As I am in the early pages, I find myself evaluating where I was on my personal timeline compared to Alvarez. There are a few conclusions I draw from my timeline.
First, I hungered for the liturgical worship once I was exposed to it. I was pastoring a Pentecostal church and attempting to take them on the journey, but I was experiencing something deeper and was not willing to lead them as far as I was going at the time.
We had gone to a weekly celebration of Communion, but I did not dive deeper into leading them in the Eucharist. I was impacted deeply by liturgical worship but held back going “too fast” with my congregation.
Second, I was only playing at all of this as a pastor. (A moment of truth for me that is deeply uncomfortable to admit.) I was playing at weekly communion because I was not leading them in the full mystery of the Eucharist. I played at walking through Advent and Lent without calling them deeper in this practice. I was not leading them at all in the creeds and confessions for fear they would just outright toss me out or leave our church out of frustration.
Third, I didn’t discern the time, the setting… well, pretty much anything. I was going in a different direction and no one was following. For me, it meant saying goodbye to one tradition to move in another direction.
Fourth, while I did end up in the Anglican tradition and am thankfully around people familiar with some of the gifts of the Spirit, I have not fully worked out being Pentecostal in a liturgical tradition. In other words, I am probably still playing around.
I need to work out who I am as a Pentecostal with who I am as an Anglican and someone truly believing both traditions are legitimate and need a deeper conversation. I need to find a way to keep walking as a Pentecostal with respect to the Great Traditions of the historical church because it is deserving of that effort.