Psalm 17.5 (CEB)
My steps are set firmly on your paths; my feet haven't slipped.
Greetings all from Texas…I am happy to be home. After the family’s vacation/General Assembly/vacation, we have returned to Texas stomachs grumbling for some Tex-Mex and bodies aching for our own beds. We had a wonderful trip and I thank you for the thoughts and prayers that were shared for us.
I am always excited to get going on some new adventures like these. I like the idea of going and trying new things. I guess there’s just a sense of wanderlust in my bones making my feet itchy from time to time. What continually amazes me is that these times help me do two things simultaneously: 1) shake me out of the “normalness” of everyday and 2)help me appreciate the really good things about everyday life. By experiencing something different, I can learn new things that can be part of a new normal on the return.
We need times to be shaken up from time to time. Why? Because it helps us realize the goodness that is already around us. And I believe that now is the time for LPCC to rediscover its wonderful features. Even as they change over time, even as we age over time, we are invited to remember that God gifts us with good things so that we may be blessed and still be a blessing to others. This is our call and this is our mandate.
So what things about LPCC are worth naming? What gifts do we possess and offer to the world? I hope to hear yours Sunday as we worship together.
Grace and peace,
Isaiah 40.31 (The Message)
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don't get tired, they walk and don't lag behind.
This week, I am on my way to Columbus Ohio to join other Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) (CCDOC) folks at the 2015 General Assembly. As a clergy person, I have the privilege of representing LPCC. As part of our gathering, we have learning, worship, and business sessions.
In particular, the business sessions are when the CCDOC comes together to talk about current issues and ideas which are called resolutions*. Now what is unique about the CCDOC and the results of these resolutions is that they inform us but not dictate who we are and what we practice as local churches.
The reason why we vote on resolutions is because it helps us name the things that are important and discussed in our churches locally. It has more to do with naming the things that are going on and hopefully opening up the opportunity to discuss them with one another. It is a beautiful process that allows for a multiplicity of opinions and thoughts to be heard. It also shows how we as the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) can find our love of God in Jesus Christ enough to bring and keep us together in covenant even when we don’t always agree. And it is furthermore the reason that the CCDOC doesn’t have “official” positions on current topics because it values the independence of our local churches with the interdependence of our shared faith.
The theme this year is SOAR! And again I expect wonderful opportunities to worship, connect, learn, and gather in ways that will equip the churches to mount up on eagles wings and soar into our neighborhoods as lifelong, faithful followers of Jesus Christ in our time and place. Grace and peace,
*To find out more about the General Assembly and in particular the Resolutions please follow this link: http://ga.disciples.org/business/#resolutions-tab
A copy of the entire resolutions packet is in the front office and a summary of resolutions can be found in the Narthex.
Galatians 3.28 (CEB)
There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
One of the benchmarks of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is our freedom of belief meaning that “…we hold the centrality of scripture, recognizing that each person has the freedom - and the responsibility - to study God's Word within the community of the church.”* We believe that everyone is capable and able to read scripture through the enlightening of the Holy Spirit, prayer, and discussion and as such we are to extend that freedom to others.
That leaves us as a church with the invitation to discern how we live our lives together as a community that seeks to live out our confession…Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and proclaim him Lord and Savior of the world. Bound together by this statement of belief, we are obedient to Christ and thus accountable to one another.
So how is this expressed knowing that this is our beginning point? For the church in general, we will see that every congregation will have its own unique ways of worship, understandings of common life, and expressing their faith to the world. For our church specifically, (LPCC) we have people who approach scriptures differently and people who live out their faith in different ways all coming together to seek to live faithful lives and as for me that is a beautiful thing!
With God before us, Jesus as our guide, and the Holy Spirit as our strength, we can and will move out into this world as one. It takes work and diligence and as people shaped by the Kingdom of God we will be ONE people who follow Jesus Christ. We will be ONE people that seek the goodness that God has created each other to be. We will be ONE people that look for the day when God’s kingdom becomes fully expressed.
Grace and peace,
*for further information about the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) please visit the website: http://disciples.org/ For specific information on the principles of the CCDOC please see: http://disciples.org/our-identity/identity-statement-and-principles/
Husband, father, minister, child of God, follower of Jesus Christ writing in the context of La Porte Community Church