The Church as People


"If the church is the people and not the institution, it seems to me some significant implications follow at once: (1) What happens on Sunday morning is not half so important as what happens on Monday morning.... (2) It is the lay people who are the key agents in the ministry of reconciliation. The clergy are the support system.... (3) There are no second-class citizens in the household of God...Indicative of the tragic confusion of the two churches, for me, is that as clergy assumed institutional power,...lay people gave up to them religious authority as well.... (4) The clergy are also part of the church, the people of God; and therefore their first, their prime loyalty should be to the church, the people of God. Everything they do for the church, the institution, must clearly be in the service of the church, the people of God."

-Verna Dozier in The Calling of the Laity, as quoted in Glorious Companions: Five Centuries of Anglican Spirituality, by Richard H. Schmidt, page 292.