Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Open doors…

I’m on Cruise! Well, technically, I’m writing in the church office. But as you read this, Sunday May 2, I’m on vacation with my wonderful wife, in the Caribbean! Last summer, when we got married, Tabitha’s dad offered us a cruise as a honeymoon. We responded, “Well, Shane’s parents already gave us a honeymoon.” He said, “So you don’t want my cruise then?” We said, “We’ll take it anyway!” And we had to use it before next month, or lose it.

But I learned recently that this will be news to some of you. It seems I haven’t communicated as well as I should. So I’m sorry if you came to church this morning expecting to speak with me, and I’m off sun tanning. My replacement, Dennis Sanders, Associate Pastor of Diversity and Mission at First Christian, will do a great job, I’m sure!

But in the spirit of good communication, I want everyone to know, if you don’t already, about another two guests we’re welcoming this month:

1. Sunday, May 9- I’ll be in church, doing everything I normally do, except preach. I’ve invited another guest preacher to join us.

This guest is Stephen Haney, co-pastor and planter of Open Source Christian Church in Rochester, MN. You maybe heard that Rochester was getting a new Disciples of Christ church. In fact, it’s already begun! Stephen and his wife Rebecca arrived in January, and have been working hard ever since.

Let me tell you, briefly, why he’s joining us. First Christian of Rochester, of course, closed their doors a few years back, and many of you had ties there. As churches do when the congregation disbands, they sold their assets, and set that money up with the denomination. But FCC Rochester made one demand- In the next ten years, this money can only be used to plant a new church in Rochester, MN. I think that’s a great idea, and because of that Stephen and Rebecca received (some of!) their funding to move here from Oklahoma, and start a new church from scratch, while raising two young kids. I wanted you to hear from them because, a) Their ministry is focused on un-churched young adults in the Rochester area, so it’s unique and exciting, b) In many ways, PCCC was a ‘new church start’ just 30 years ago, so I thought we’d have compassion and wisdom for this ministry. We might even want to support their work. So Stephen will preach that Sunday, and give a short presentation during Fellowship about their vision and emerging ministry.

2. Sunday, May 23- First of all, this is the date for our 2010 Spring Choir Festival. Jeremae and the choir, as happens each Spring, are preparing something very cool, that will replace our sermon that Sunday (What will I do with myself this month?! Perhaps visit more, and bug you about discovering creative new ways to do ministry together…!!!). Second, after service, as I wrote about in the May newsletter, we’ll welcome Kristin Zoellner, Resource Coordinator of Refugee Services for the MN Council of Churches.

Why? Well, as you may know, our Mission Team Gathering in March decided to challenge the church to learn about Refugee Ministry. We want to find a church-wide, longer-term mission project for 2010, and while we don’t know yet if this is it, we have suspicions. And besides, this ministry is important ministry- indeed, when I helped lead refugee work at my church in Kentucky, it was some of the best stuff we did together- so it’s worth learning about in general. So after Fellowship that Sunday, 45 minutes tops, we’ll hear about how refugees resettle in Minneapolis, the challenges they go through, and how churches make a difference in their lives.

That’s all my announcing- I promise! I had planned, by the way, to write about a kickball adventure I got into recently. I’ll do it soon; don’t let me forget. But while I’m gone, enjoy the guests, the time apart, and exciting thoughts about all the interesting things we’ll learn about ministry this month. Isn’t it fun providing hospitality when you know you’ll learn so much from your guest?

Grace and Peace,


No comments:

Post a Comment