‘Holiness should make a difference for us and for our neighbors in the most common areas of our shared life.’ KC District Superintendent Jeren Rowell cautions his pastors to reconsider their words and presence on social media. (And join NTS Professor Dean Blevins for a webinar next week on this topic: Register Here)
As we learn the music well, we will learn that even when we are going “off the page” in regard to ministry challenges, we are never truly soloing. We are always playing in harmony with both the Spirit of God who leads us and with the Community of Faith into which God has placed us.
The Church is currently treading through stormy seas. Jesus beckons us to step into the midst of the cultural waters, but our sight is easily diverted from Jesus to the swelling waves threatening to swallow us whole. For many, it feels like we are drowning in the chaos and we are uncertain what the future holds for the Church’s life and ministry.
Pastor Stephanie Dyrness Lobdell begins the new year with a love letter to her church. It’s been two years, Beloved. Did you remember? I did. I remember because I was so uncertain. I remember because I was fearful, hesitant. I remember because I did not know if my heart would love you, could love you. And it wasn’t you. It was me, with my wounds and hurts, my aches and sadness. I came to you, wondering if I had a single thing to give you, if I had even a solitary word to offer up.
“Go from your family and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” 1 This is the call of God to Abram, which is not an easy call for anyone; especially someone who is part of a nomadic family. Nomads, because they had no permanent residence, relied on their family for survival, security, and future. Yet, God’s call blows all that to smithereens. God says, “Leave your family…” This would have been the larger family unit, or tribe, Abram would have been from. These are the people you see once a year at your family reunion, if you go, who you really do not know. “Leave your kindred…” This would have been your extended family. This is your aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins. “Leave your father’s house…” This is your immediate family. With every few words, God’s call closes in tighter and tighter on…