A Vision for the Church

Pillar and Cloud is a network of congregations moving forward with hope toward God’s promised future. The pillar of fire that guides us is the Paschal light of Christ, our Savior, dead and risen, a holy mystery into which we are incorporated. The cloud that surrounds and accompanies us is the great cloud of witnesses: the Church visible and invisible, beyond boundaries of space and time.

Living more and more fully into this baptismal reality congregations embody a radical vision: the Church in the midst of the world as a sign, instrument, and foretaste of the promised and immanent Reign of God. Indeed, the witness of Scripture is clear that, since the Resurrection, the church is Christ’s Body in the world. Communities of faith are formed and transformed in this identity as they engage in the dynamic interweaving of missional liturgy “in the sanctuary” and missional service “beyond the walls.”

In a time when many congregations are distracted by increasing demands on their resources and anxiety about their future, Pillar and Cloud connects congregations choosing to focus on the vocation named above. These congregations are intentional about revitalizing worship and mission. They celebrate God’s gracious action in the world with joy and confidence. They respond to God’s work in the world by proclaiming and embodying the vibrant, exciting, and demanding call of the gospel. Pillar and Cloud aspires to establish and encourage models of congregational life that clearly manifest this robust vision of the church, transforming individual lives and moving from strength to strength by activating the ministry of all the baptized.

This understanding of the church is foundational to the Book of Common Prayer of The Episcopal Church (BCP), the Book of Alternative Services of the Anglican Church of Canada (BAS), and Evangelical Lutheran Worship of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and in Canada (ELW). APLM affirms the great potential in further liturgical revision and renewal as the church continues to come to terms with the theology that energized previous revision efforts.

Pillar and Cloud congregations embrace this theology and express it through carefully prepared formation, worship, witness, and pastoral care, leading to growth not only in members, but also in the depth of our mission, working for God’s justice and peace.

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