A very dear friend sent me a letter by C.S. Lewis On the Evil of Christian Disunity ... just today and I am struck, yet again, by how God answers my endless questions. As I worshiped Thanksgiving Eve service at church, I began to miss many of my friends who were not there and quite a few questions began to pop into my head: Where were they? Why did I feel sad to be at church? Why did I not feel thankful for the leaders in my church? Was I sinning by not feeling grateful for my church leaders? From the beginning I have been sure about the wrong turn being taken by my church leadership. It is evil to break Christian unity and I am simply not able to be thankful for their efforts to take my church out of the PC(USA). "Schism is a very great evil, " wrote C.S. Lewis, more than 50 years ago, pithily! Reading his letter has also reminded me to be thankful for all the friends who were missing from our Thanksgiving Eve service. Not wanting to cause a schism, many have left quietly, heartsick, and too pained to worship with us anymore. Their faith too has been damaged but some continue to worship elsewhere. The letter reminded me, yet again, to encourage you to join me in prayers for them and for our leadership and to stay in dialog. Let us pray that faith is strengthened despite all the ugliness that is a part of the denominational discernment. Be encouraged by this graphic which shows that the number of churches that have left the PC (USA) are less than the new worshiping communities emerging. Cling to Jesus and above all, be steadfast in prayer for our church leadership, just like Lewis did.
Friday, November 28, 2014
Friday, November 14, 2014
#amexcited #amdelighted #amecstatic #booklovers #unite! Our project to build a Children's section, as part of a small public library ~10,000 books, for a community college has started! We have a few donors already and collected ~5000 books already. This post is not about this library project though, it is about the lessons I'm learning as I focus on the Spirit's leading. Here's what I learned today: One, creative ideas do not spring from groups; they spring from originals (individuals). Originals are people not afraid of the fire within, that divine spark, ignited by God that is roaring within, consumed by the passion and gifts He's given them. Two, most of us are too afraid to be originals, and so we live our lives as copies, just following others (the world). Three, originals try to adapt the world to them, copies adapt to the world. Woot! The Scripture on which this is based is one of my favorites: Roman 12:2 The book I'm reading is: You're Born An Original, Don't Die A Copy by John L. Mason. Tulsa, Oklahoma, Insight International, 1993.
Monday, November 3, 2014
The denominational discernment update yesterday was not the whole truth. Yes, the Presbytery has appointed three people to the Joint Discernment Team (JDT). Our church is entitled to the same number but yesterday, I learned that our church has appointed at least 5 people; it may be even more as I lost track after the first three. I am wondering how this is even possible? Thus, one of the reasons for the delay is pretty clear :(. Clearly the JDT cannot meet until the two sides are evenly represented. Is equal representation really that hard of a concept to understand? And, what is the work of the JDT? I heard nothing about this. I wonder why. I just feel so very sad.