The Way of Love Revival in Fond du Lac: How We've Prepared for Revival

October 22, 2019
By: 
Anne Peterson and the Rev. Ralph Osborne

Episcopal Revival Fond du Lac

Like most churches and dioceses, we have struggled with declining attendance and the need for new power and energy in our churches.  We have had hope for new involvement and new outreach.  In light of this, we have been praying and looking for how God is working in us.  When the opportunity for a revival became a reality, we jumped at the chance and have made this the focus of our prayer and preparation.

This opportunity brought us the challenge to think and pray about who we want to reach and draw together with The Way of Love.  We have been working to open our own hearts and lives to the power of Christ’s love and our place in the Jesus movement.  In our diocese, we have the challenge to look beyond our theological and political differences and to reach out to the address the needs presenting themselves to us such as the opioid crisis and sex trafficking. We see the start and heart of these ministries is to fall more deeply in love with God and our neighbor.  We are trying to take to heart the challenge of “Plus One”. It seems to be a great challenge to invite others in.

When we made the decision to move ahead and host the revival, it became time for specific preparation.  Our bishop recruited two co-chairs and they worked to recruit leaders for our revival teams.  This required talented and hard-working folks to plan the event, make sure the site will provide a welcome to those doing the revival and those attending.  We have been working to find an army of volunteers to help on the day of the revival to welcome the community to the Exposition Center and make their experience as spiritually focused as possible. The finances continue to be a challenge and we are finding ways to fund both the expected costs and the unexpected costs.  We have all been working on the task of getting the word out to those in our community and those in our churches.  Even with those volunteers, it would be next to impossible without the support of our diocesan staff.

Our churches have been encouraging our people to familiarize themselves with the preaching of our presiding bishop.  In preparation for people responding on the day of the revival, we have held a training for prayer teams to help people confirm their commitment to Jesus.  As we near the day of the revival, we are praying for the Spirit to move in our churches and lead us to talk about our faith and invite neighbors and friends to the revival.  We are finding it both a challenge and an opportunity to ‘Ask’.

There have been conversations in our churches and diocesan office about how to follow-up after the revival.  We have a diocesan follow-up event planned for March. We believe all this will combine well with the Faithful Innovations initiative many of our churches have begun to participate in. The need for prayer will continue.