I once had a boss who was in the habit of copying a page or two out of a book, and then giving it to me, saying, "Here, I think you'll find this helpful". He left me to imagine what situation or behavior of mine he was trying to help!
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I mentioned in my first synod blog the anxiety I felt driving to synod and then how it seemed to dissipate with meeting and greeting old friends and colleagues. I felt like the sparrow protected by God's almighty hand. So I'll refer to these synod blogs as the "view from the sparrow's nest".
Synod for me is like a lot of training events. In one respect, synod is a friendly environment to discuss a subject matter that is dear to my heart and therefore easy to talk about. On the other hand, delegates, like conference attendees, often ask pointed questions and challenge the speaker's knowledge or the opinions of others. It is this second respect which draws out the anxiety in me and probably in a few other speakers.
Here's a brief email exchange about some technical issues on membership transfers between congregations and different denominations. I thought this might be helpful for elders, deacons, pastors, members because I think we deal with this at least ten times a year for people either transferring in or out. I think the two notes below are self-explanatory...
Paul desires a maturity in Christ. Clearly, to be filled with the fullness of God requires that the love of Christ shapes our very being. Jesus makes it clear that this includes loving your enemies and forgiving those who sin against us. Mature Christian living is not just a matter of experiencing Christ’s forgiveness but being transformed in Christ’s love to reflect the love of God for his world. Elders are agents of such transformation.
Ever wonder what operating system other churches are running on their servers? What they use for email? What solution other churches use for their staff intranet? What their IT budget is? The Church IT Survey is a survey that provides responses for these questions and forty others from over 150 churches.
The skies were grey, and the weatherman was calling for more of the liquid sunshine. There was a single puddle left over from the previous nights rain fall in the middle of the church parking lot. For some reason I stared at this puddle, I couldn’t take my eyes off it. Then a single drop fell, and hit the puddle.
Pentecost is past; the school year is winding up; and summer is upon us. Before you know it fall will be here. Many churches have a mission emphasis celebration between mid-September and mid-November, and now is a good time to plan those events. The scope of mission emphasis celebrations runs all the way from prayer and the collection of Faith Promise pledges to a nine day period with four worship services and mid-week events that cover ...
Is there any regular and routine setting in which the deacons are asked HOW they have ministered to the poor, and to the wealthy during the past month? Is the congregation regularly encouraged to tell stories about how they’ve lived out diaconal service? Are worship services planned regularly with references to diaconal messages, functions, roles, office? Is there a story to tell?
What do you want? It is a simple question. But the answers touch on many complex matters of the human heart. Dealing with human desire is one of the common features of spirituality in many religious traditions. Each one agrees on this: getting what we want often leads us astray.
The fourth in a series of questions frequently raised in training sessions: I am a man who cares deeply about sexual abuse, but what can one man do to make a difference? Isn't (sexual abuse) primarily a problem women need to learn how to keep themselves safe? Gerry Heyboer writes the following response. The answer to the first question is "A lot!" The answer to the second question is "No!"
May 13 was the least known, possibly most important Christian holiday—Ascension Day. It should kick off big-time Christian parties, like those after the Prime Minister is sworn in–but bigger. It remembers when Jesus—Immanuel, God-with-Us—returned to heaven after his crucifixion and resurrection. From there he rules the universe at God the Father’s right hand.
Two aspects of the web that are driving innovation are collaboration and lowering costs, of which almost any new web service or site provides. Recently Microsoft started the
Technical Preview of Microsoft Office Web Apps
which includes both of these. Office Web Apps (OWA) enable the editing, sharing, and storing of Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and OneNote files online, through most browsers and any operating system.
I’m concerned with developing small groups of people who covenant to a shared life together as they grow in Christlikeness and join God’s mission together. That leaves me with this question. How do we establish counter-cultural groups in a culturally relevant way?
We would love to form a neighborhood small group where everyone on our block knows each other well, joins in spiritual conversations, prays for one another, and finds ways to serve in our community together. It’s a wonderful dream that we talk about often. The problem is, we don’t know our neighbors!