Posts on General

Charity and Authentic Faith

May 19, 2015 4:25 pm

The life of charity and care for the poor is the Christian vocation. One can no more separate one’s faith from one’s actions towards those broken by want and violence than one can separate the heart from the body and still live. It is impossible. The care of the poor may gain a opening for further communication of the Gospel, but that is not its objective because care for the poor IS a proclamation of the Gospel, a visible witness to the reality of God’s love in Christ. Like the sacrament of the Table, charity proclaims the reality of Christ... Read this post

Entering Into Rest – The Beauty of the Second Membership Vow

May 14, 2015 5:38 pm

    “I’ve got this.” Those words were a huge relief one evening when a group of people I was working with were due to appear before the city council on a major building project. We were all pretty nervous about the outcome, and more than a little uncertain about whether anything we’d prepared to say would help or hinder our case. In the end our colleague was exactly correct: we could leave behind all the anxieties about our performance because his arguments and ability won the day. We never had to say a word. The second membership vow, like... Read this post

Time to Say Goodbye? How to Know When to Leave a Church

May 7, 2015 8:18 pm

People leave churches. It happens. Sometimes that’s a great thing too, because God is directing their steps to do so. There are also times when it’s not the right thing to do. How do you know if its time to make a move? Five Good Reasons to Go 1. “My Beliefs Changed”: Growing in grace means we also grow in our understanding of God’s word. Every church believes that its theology is consistent with Scripture, but unless its a sect or cult must surely also know that it doesn’t have the corner on all truth. Some church members come to... Read this post

The Sweetness of Grace and the Promise of Membership

May 7, 2015 5:27 pm

One of the moments I treasure most is praying with people as they stand before the congregation and publicly take vows as members of Christ Community Church. What a joy to witness people making the move from casual enquirer to committed member, in many cases for the first time in their lives declaring their allegiance to Jesus and his people. This is a deeply moving moment in their lives, and in ours as well. When we become members, we respond to five questions that form our covenant vows, answering each question by saying, “I do” – a very potent little... Read this post

Snapshots of Hope

May 6, 2015 9:20 pm

I remember once sitting in a worship service and hearing some verses being read that described the Church as a ‘peculiar people’. Those words were from Peter’s first letter, and I recall thinking as I looked around, ‘Well, whatever else Peter thought, he sure got that right.’  You too might think of the Church as ‘peculiar’, as kind of weird, something like an eccentric aunt with a strange smell, odd manners, dated dress, and slightly deaf and blind to what’s really going on around her. Its also true that you may not think of Jesus’ Church very often, or that... Read this post

Pentecost

May 4, 2015 4:08 pm

The dove descending breaks the air With flame of incandescent terror Of which the tongues declare The one discharge from sin and error. The only hope, or else despair Lies in the choice of pyre or pyre- To be redeemed from fire by fire. – TS Eliot

Grace for the Reluctant Christian

May 3, 2015 12:09 pm

I admit that I’m at times a reluctant Christian, plagued by doubts and still recovering from bad church encounters. I’m fully aware of all the reasons not to believe. So then, why do I believe? In my own days of skepticism, I wanted a dramatic interruption from above. I wanted proof of an unseen reality, one that could somehow be verified. However in my days of faith, such supernatural irruptions seem far less important, because I find the materialistic explanations of life inadequate to explain reality. I’ve learned to attend to fainter contacts between the seen and unseen worlds. I... Read this post

Caught in the Draft: Grace and the Chosen People

May 2, 2015 4:27 pm

My worst moment growing up? It happened regularly in fact, almost every summer afternoon: picking teams for a sandlot baseball game. You know what I mean. Forget being the captain making the choices, you just wanted to make sure you weren’t the last one selected for a team. There you stand, glove in hand, looking down at the ground like your dog just died and hoping your name will be the next one called instead of the the last one. In my dreams, I was the number one pick in the NFL Draft, or sank the winning basket for IU... Read this post

Hey Christ Community Church, Just Who Do You Think You Are?

May 2, 2015 4:46 am

Hey Christ Community Church, Just Who Do You Think You Are?   I was once asked by a person what kind of church I attended. “A loving one” seemed the best response, especially given that Jesus said it was by our love one for the other that the world would recognize us as his followers. Still, what love looks like begs for some more detail. John the Baptist was asked, “Who are you? What do you say about yourself?” The people asking him had their own ideas about how to answer the questions, but the prophet ultimately established his identity... Read this post