What do our church highlights look like?

People or projects? Programs or relationships?  What are we even doing this for?  A great blog post that helps us discern and be church.  http://achurchforstarvingartists.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/your-churchs-highlights/

And a Little Chid Shall Lead Them (Isaiah 11:6)

And A Little Child Shall Lead Them (Isaiah 11:6)
“Why do we do what we do what we do?” May we always ask this question. May this little child be our GPS. May this wonderful story where God chose to camp among us, to be with us, to become one of us, and to lead us be our guide.
As I sit here reminiscing and celebrating that it has been one since you called me as your pastor, this is the Scripture that comes to my mind: ‘And a little child shall lead them.” It is with great gratitude that I share how blessed we are to be sharing in ministry with all of you. What a wonderful year it has been.

  •   Blessed with a great team.

◊ Shari, Kate, and Trista-so blessed to be working you.

◊ Our Session: God has called a great team that gets spiritual leadership.

◊ Our Deacons: Thank you for sharing in our caring ministry.

  • Our children.

◊    I share tears of joy with you as we see all of our children gathering for the children’s sermon. May we be

led by all of our  children.

◊    Carnival and Kids Camp: The Spirit is doing something new.

◊    Peggy Cerise: Child of God whose ending is a new beginning.

◊    This is what it is about. Together we share our story and we pass it on.

  • Our youth.

◊ What Do You Stand For? Our youth stand for something special, and I was fortunate to share with them and get to know

them better on the mission trip.

◊    Also, so thankful for our youth leaders who volunteer many hours from their heart.

  • Wednesday Club: You inspire me with your care for each other and our church.
  • Food and Fellowship: So blessed to share in a community that enjoys being together.

◊    Valentine Cabaret: Speechless-the talents and joy astound. Can’t wait for next year.
◊    Worship: Passing of the Peace says it all followed by fellowship time.
◊    Fourth of July: ‘I want to bang on my drum all day’-A joyful noise was shared.
◊    Our people: Thankful for each one of you.

  • Mission: From our community garden to the Crop Walk, blessed with people that like to get their hands dirty serving God.
  • Worship: Sing a new song unto the Lord! This congregation loves to sing and this says it all. May we continue to sing new songs together with faith like a child, as the little child continues to guide us.

Thank you for a wonderful first year in vocational ministry. God is good all the time. Pastor Rob

Pastrix: Coffee and Nadia

“Nadia Bolz-Weber takes no prisoners as she reclaims the term “pastrix”(pronounced “pas-triks,” a term used by some Christians who refuse to recognize female pastors) in her messy, beautiful, prayer-and-profanity laden narrative about an unconventional life of faith.

Heavily tattooed and loud-mouthed, Nadia, a former stand-up comic, sure as hell didn’t consider herself to be religious leader material — until the day she ended up leading a friend’s funeral in a smoky downtown comedy club. Surrounded by fellow alcoholics, depressives, and cynics, she realized: These were her people. Maybe she was meant to be their pastor.” http://www.pastrix.com/

Who would like to join in a book discussion on Nadia’s new book, Pastrix?  Recently, I received an inquiry on visiting Spirit of Life.  Their question was if I (and Spirit of Life/and PCUSA) believed in the ordination of women.  Without hesitation, “Of course.” The next question was if I knew of any non-apostate Reformed churches in the area.  If ‘apostate’ = ordaining women, come be an apostate along with me as we read one from one of my favorite pastors.  Nadia holds together tradition and post-modernism, hymns and beer, and AA meetings and worship.  Sounds like church to me.

Let’s do church together.  Thinking early morning during the week at a local coffee shop.  Reply if you are interested and what time you could make work?

Shalom,

Rob

takes no prisoners as she reclaims the term “pastrix”(pronounced “pas-triks,” a term used by some Christians who refuse to recognize female pastors) in her messy, beautiful, prayer-and-profanity laden narrative about an unconventional life of faith.

Heavily tattooed and loud-mouthed, Nadia, a former stand-up comic, sure as hell didn’t consider herself to be religious leader material — until the day she ended up leading a friend’s funeral in a smoky downtown comedy club. Surrounded by fellow alcoholics, depressives, and cynics, she realized: Nadia Bolz-Weber, author of Pastrix; Photographer: Courtney PerryThese were her people. Maybe she was meant to be their pastor.

– See more at: http://www.pastrix.com/#sthash.KDSQ2P47.dpuf

takes no prisoners as she reclaims the term “pastrix”(pronounced “pas-triks,” a term used by some Christians who refuse to recognize female pastors) in her messy, beautiful, prayer-and-profanity laden narrative about an unconventional life of faith.

Heavily tattooed and loud-mouthed, Nadia, a former stand-up comic, sure as hell didn’t consider herself to be religious leader material — until the day she ended up leading a friend’s funeral in a smoky downtown comedy club. Surrounded by fellow alcoholics, depressives, and cynics, she realized: Nadia Bolz-Weber, author of Pastrix; Photographer: Courtney PerryThese were her people. Maybe she was meant to be their pastor.

– See more at: http://www.pastrix.com/#sthash.KDSQ2P47.dpuf

Church happening

It was a blessing to share at table and in worship this last Wednesday and hear the MLK’s monumental I Have a Dream speech.  We were also blessed to have James Hohmann share his reflection as we examine the dichotomy of how far we have come while recognizing how the long arc of history bending towards justice has a long way to go.

In light of our gathering, I share this story (*warning-language alert):  http://momastery.com/blog/2013/09/01/church/

New Website, The Table, and Twitter, oh my! Navigating Relationships

New Website, The Table, and Twitter, oh my! Navigating Relationships in a Changing World

 

            As the words echo from the great prophet, Bob Dylan, “The times they are a-changin’.” Meanwhile, in my other ear I hear the great wisdom of the Beatles, “Don’t pass me by.” This is the quandary…the struggle, the tension. It is right here that I am thankful for great mentors that have lived and taught, that this is right where we are to enter and live.

            The pace of change around us is happening at warp speed. As a community, we have lived through many great advances and changes. Case in point, a pastor makes a point about societal change while referencing songs from the 60’s.  Yet arguably, the pace of change is unlike any of our prior experience. So as we live in the tension of change and participation, consider the Millenial generation (30 and younger).  For Millenials, technology and social media are part of the indigenous language in the world they know. I compare this to the concept of truly knowing another language is when you think, or dream in that language.

            As we think about community, living as missionaries right here at home, hospitality that welcomes the unchurched, and our relevance with our own young adults and youth— learning the language of the indigenous culture around us is important. Two weeks ago, I was at a conference that shared the importance of embracing social media in reference to our relevance to younger generations. The speaker held in juxtaposition his initial thought of smart-phones from a couple years ago compared with the necessity his smart-phone has become in his daily ministry. He posted, in real time, a picture of the conference with comments already posting live on the screen. He commented that from his initial resistance, the smart-phone had become a tool he couldn’t live without. Immediately, a voice from the crowd rang out, “You wanna bet, I still am just fine with the phone hanging on the wall.” Right here was the tension—the resistance. His point was made exactly right here…

            It is a reality that our front door to the church— our curbside appeal—has become our website. The vast number of those seeking to visit a church begin with searching the web. In a fast changing technological world, it is necessary that this be a good first impression. It is with great thanks that we acknowledge Josh Ullom and our technology committee have given our website a full makeover. Please take a moment and

visit http://www.spiritoflifeav.org. This is the hub for sharing news about our church, our calendar, a new blog, our mission, and our ministries.

            Additionally, we are now active on Twitter. If you are adventurous, check us out at

https://twitter.com/SpiritOfLifeAV, , or follow the twitter link on the upper right hand corner of our website. We continue to be active on Facebook which can be found in the same location.

            With the idea that we are living as missionaries in an indigenous culture, I am excited to welcome many of these changes as good news. Throughout history, the gospel has flourished in the mission field when it is accessible to the people in their language.

            In closing, I share with you how grateful I am for the connection my children share with my mom. Their primary form of communication is through texting. While my mom could have been the voice in the assembly that hollered, “wanna bet—I do just fine with my phone on the wall,” it is through embracing change that relationships happen. And it is relationships with our relational Triune God that we find that this is what it is all about.