Thursday, January 1, 2009

Missions Decisions...

You may have noticed by now that we’re aggressively developing our approach to Mission. God has moved powerfully through our Mission work before, at least that’s what I hear around town, and we believe that will continue through creative, prayerful planning.

So in follow-up to October’s after church Mission Gathering, on December 14 a group of willing participants/leaders made some decisions about Mission, which I’m happy, exuberant even, to report:

2009 Adventure in Mission (cue dramatic music): TABLE HOSPITALITY- That’s right, we have a mission for 2009 that corresponds with the church’s theme for the year (Table Before Me: God’s Open-Armed Adventure). This means we will organize our Mission activities, giving and learning around this particular theme, allowing it to guide us in a grand Mission Adventure. Good stewardship of our time and resources implores thoughtful engagement with the Christian practice of “Saying Yes or No,” and after good discernment, we chose Table Hospitality, a broad and specific idea, to help us out. Do you have a Mission idea that will lead Plymouth Creek to experience or provide Table Hospitality?

Mission Team- At the recommendation of the Church Board, a group of folk are organizing to provide leadership for this 2009 Adventure in Mission. They will be tasked with decision-making, congregational education about missions, and organizing our collective efforts to help us achieve this wonderful goal. Are you led to join this venture? If so, contact Pastor Shane; first meeting in January.

Mission-of-the-Month- Since October, we’ve used a monthly schedule to focus our Mission efforts, and will continue doing so throughout our year in Adventure. The First Quarter of 2009 is set:

January: Our Table- As stated elsewhere in the Creeksider, we want to spruce up the church, to make it as hospitable and effective for ministry as possible. So this month’s Mission is internal, largely because so much of what we do is provide space for others to learn, worship and thrive.

February: Souper Bowl of Caring- Planned to coincide with a certain sporting event, the SouperBowl is an annual, nationwide campaign to provide food and resources in the fight against hunger and poverty in our community. As a consciously youth-driven effort, we look forward to the leadership of younger church members to guide this step of our Adventure.

March: Feed My Starving Children- This Christian non-profit provides foodstuffs for hungry children in over 50 countries. On March 30, we will go en masse to assemble food packages for this noble effort that in 2007 alone, sent 43 million meals around the globe. Join the Adventure!

April: Week of Compassion- Last November, Week of Compassion’s out-going Director, Johnny Wray, preached in our Sunday service, and told us some of WoC’s worldwide impact. Funded exclusively by and for Disciples of Christ churchgoers, this organization coordinates disaster relief, recovery and development wherever hungry and stricken people are in need. On Palm and Easter Sunday, we will take up a Special Offering during worship, as a way of passing on the hospitality we receive at the Lord’s Table, and to celebrate New Life for all God’s Creation.

Hospitality/Mission for Visitors- You may know the new church policy: as part of our commitment to Christian hospitality, we will ‘pass on’ a small donation to a partner in mission to give the gift of giving to every first-time worship visitor. To fund this, look at what Steve Weaver’s organizing in January, (see January newsletter)…

Of course, “Mission” isn’t the only Adventure we’ll undertake in 2009; you will see elsewhere a schedule of educational, worshipful and relational endeavors that correspond to our 2009 theme. First up: a January sermon series about God’s Open-Armed Adventure, anchored by Psalm 23:5, and using four different ‘adventure’ movies every Sunday to add some thrill and creativity. So gather some friends, watch some movies and bring them to church. And get ready for something adventurous. In the words of Bruce Epperly, whose book Holy Adventure we’ll study, “Whether or not you are aware of it…God invites you to be a companion on God’s holy adventure.” For that journey, I wish you,

Grace and Peace,